Citizens Gather To Remember Fallen Police Officers

Five Frederick City officers lost their lives in the line of duty.

Friday was a gray and misty day, and it matched the mood at  a ceremony in front of Frederick City Hall to remember five police officers who died in the line of duty.

An audience of mostly elected officials and police officers listened as Frederick Police Chief Ed Hargis explained how the life of police officer is taking a stand to preserve the rights of citizens, and protect them from danger. “The officers that we remember today stood their ground, did their jobs and along with their families and friends have paid the highest price,” he said. “This is a legacy that these officers leave behind, and it’s a legacy that time cannot diminish.”

The featured speaker was State’s Attorney Charlie Smith, who decried the increasing violence against police officers, even when they’re off duty. “These people are committing to bettering our community and to protecting. And, unfortunately as of late, that commitment which we honored and valued so much is under siege. The police’s commitment to us is under siege, in my opinion,” he said.

Each of the five officers who perished were honored with five empty chairs in front of City Hall which were draped in black. They are Officer Henry Adams, who was hired as a special police officer for the elections in 1879. While at the polling place, a fight broke out, and someone struck Officer Adams behind with a brick. He died in 1880, leaving behind a four-year-old son. Sergeant Lewis F. Carter suffered a heart attack while testifying at a court trial and died on September 7th, 1922. Officer John H. Adams was killed by William Stultz on August 9th, 1922. He was coming to the aid of Sheriff’s Deputies who had been shot while trying to take possession of a vehicle which had been levied. Officer Walsh who was with Adams fired at Stutlz wgi was inside of a house.  Stutlz  sustained a gunshot in the hip. John Adams was the son of Officer Henry Adams. Sergeant Harry P. Phillips died early in the morning of February 11th, 1962 after he was struck in the chest in a struggle to apprehend a prisoner from an assault which occurred in the 200 block of West Patrick Street. He apparently suffered a heart attack while en route to the hospital in his cruiser. Officer Richard “Mark” Bremer was on routine patrol in the 400 block of West Patrick Street and observed a suspicious vehicle. He tried to stop the vehicle for traffic violations and possibly driving while intoxicated, but the motorist refused to stop. Officer Bremer pursed the vehicle, but his patrol cruiser was involved in a vehicle accident in the 500 block of East South Street.  He was transported to a trauma center where he died October 23rd, 2008.

“There are many in this crowd who worked with Officer Bremer,” said Lt. Thomas Tokarz, who served as master of ceremonies. “Officer Bremer was an excellent police officer with high integrity, character, work ethic and professionalism. He will never be forgotten.

As part of the ceremony, Officer Bremer’s son, Ryan, laid a rose on the empty chair with his father’s name. His family received two etchings  from the Frederick Police Department.

Rabbi Dan Sikowitz, a police chaplain, offered his tribute to Frederick Police Officers. “We citizens of Frederick cannot possibly understand completely. But we do feel gratitude. We do honor you  and know that you are there for us,” he said. “That without you, we have no idea what this city would be like, and frankly do not ever want to know.”