EagleHerald/Chelsea Ewaldt
Marinette Police Officer Adam Waeghe (center) and his K-9 Raven bow their heads during a prayer Tuesday afternoon at the law enforcement memorial service at the Marinette County Courthouse. A packed room with officers from the Marinette Police Department and deputies Marinette Sheriff’s Department, along with members of the community came to honor those who have fallen.
EagleHerald/Chelsea Ewaldt

Marinette Police Officer Adam Waeghe (center) and his K-9 Raven bow their heads during a prayer Tuesday afternoon at the law enforcement memorial service at the Marinette County Courthouse. A packed room with officers from the Marinette Police Department and deputies Marinette Sheriff’s Department, along with members of the community came to honor those who have fallen.

MARINETTE — Police officers from the Marinette Police Department, deputies from the Marinette Sheriff’s Department and members of the community gathered Tuesday afternoon at the Marinette County Courthouse to honor those who have died in the line of duty.

In a packed room, many came together to remember those who have fallen during the law enforcement memorial service in the county board room.

“We are here today to honor and more importantly to pay respect to those members of law enforcement who have paid the ultimate price — given their lives in the performance of their duties,” said Marinette County Circuit Court Branch 2 Judge Jim Morrison.

“It is all together fitting and proper that we should do this, but what we say here can never equal what they have done for us.”

Every day thousands of men and women who serve in law enforcement, put on their gear, uniform and badge and don’t know if they’re coming home, he said.

“They kiss their loved ones goodbye and they all say a silent prayer that they will return at the end of their shift safe and sound,” he said. “Regrettably that does not always happen.”

It is essential to take a few minutes yearly to reflect on the sacrifice that officers and families pay, Morrison explained.

“They do this so that we can live safely and securely in the greatest country the world has ever known,” he said. “These are not statistical sacrifices. These are the sacrifices of real people — their families and comrades, so it is appropriate that we reflect upon a few of those people today.”

On May 9, Richard Hale, a deputy inspector general in the Texas Juvenile Justice Department was killed when his vehicle was struck by a semi as he was returning from a meeting with prosecutors, Morrison stated.

“Richard Hale is survived by his wife and eight children,” he said.

On April 11, 2017, Morrison said, Wisconsin State Trooper Anthony Borostowski was killed in Sauk County when his patrol car left the road and struck a tree.

“Not only was he (Borostowski) a state trooper, but he was also a member of the Wisconsin Army National Guard,” he said.

According to Morrison, Borostowski was in the same recruiting class at trooper Trevor Casper, who had direct ties with Marinette County.

“Casper was the officer killed on his first day of solo duty as he tried to apprehend the bank robber/murderer from Wausaukee,” he said.

FBI Special Agent Melissa Morrow died as the result of brain cancer that she developed following her assignment in the search and recovery efforts of the Pentagon following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Morrison said.

“Morrow had been assigned to the FBI Washington field Office’s Evidence Response Team and spent 10 weeks recovering and processing evidence from the site in hazardous and contaminated conditions,” he said.

Detective Jason Thomas Weiland of the Everest Police Department put his life on the line on March 22, 2017, in a gunfire exchange after a multiple fatality shooting occurred in Schofield, Wis., due to a domestic dispute, Morrison said. Weiland was an 18-year veteran and left behind his wife and two children.

“These are just five of the tragic losses of officers who like so many of their comrades have given their lives for us and their communities,” he said. “In another sense, we need to think today as well about officers who are not called upon to give their lives but rather to make the awesome, often split-second decision to take a life in the performance of their duties.

“Every officer must be willing ready and able to use deadly force if there is no alternative and unfortunately sometimes there is no alternative.”

A few months ago, two Marinette County Sheriff’s deputies and two City of Marinette police officers faced that responsibility, Morrison mentioned.

“They acquitted themselves in every way properly, but we need to understand and support the difficulty and extraordinarily sober responsibility which they discharged that day,” he said. “Today is a day set aside to mourn, honor, and celebrate the courage of officers who literally gave it all.

“Without in any way diminishing that important purpose, we should also stop for a moment and realize, as momentous as these decisions are, as serious as the consequences may be, every day on thousands of occasions in every corner of this country law enforcement officers perform heroic deeds — great and small — punctuated with acts of kindness and decency for which they seldom if ever receive acknowledgement or credit.

“It is these kinds of officers who by their conduct honor their fallen comrades.”