Delaware State Police on Friday memorialized the work of the department over the past 100 years and how their work has changed.
Over 160 people packed into the Senate chambers in Dover to listen to speeches from several politicians, including Gov. John Carney, U.S. Sens. Chris Coons and Thomas Carper, Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long, Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Nathaniel McQueen Jr., Delaware State Police Superintendent Melissa Zebley and Major Sean Moriarty.
“I know each of you have stories you could tell from almost every shift, and I’ve heard many of them,” Carney said. “I’ve come to know the heart and soul of the men and women who serve and so this is a really special day for all of us. But particularly for the women and men who put on the uniform, and I want to thank you for your service.”
Hall-Long said she appreciates the work the State Police have done to address drugs and other threats the country is dealing with.
Every troop has or will soon have collaboration with drug diversion and mental health, she said. “And I want to reiterate the importance of that as all across America is struggling with disunity, disharmony, threats to law enforcement. These are major steps in Delaware. Troopers are being leaders across America in this area.”
The event also included a demonstration of the eight uniforms State Police have used, going from their original uniform (badges on hats and chests, metal pins with DEL on them, jackboots and black leather gauntlets).
Zebley dedicated a 100-year anniversary flag, which had flown over in all eight operational troops during the first quarter of the year, to all those that served in the State Police.
As military lore tells us, a flag is more than a symbol,” Zebley said. “A flag is a living testament to the courageous women and men who answer the call. In our case, the call to public safety. It is my honor today to dedicate this flag to all members of the Delaware State Police, past and present, all of you in the audience today, and those who preceded us.”
They also honored the 23 Delaware State Troopers who have died in the line of duty over the past 101 years, from officer Francis Ryan in 1922 to Corporal Stephen Jamelle Ballard in 2017.
After announcing all who had died, bagpipes played ”The Star-Spangled Banner” in their honor.
The event ended with all current and former State Police officers giving a salute before being dismissed.
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