a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Police at their finest

Members of the Annapolis Police Department Honor Guard at the funeral today for retired Officer Pete Medley. Scott Beveridge photo.

Over the years, I've had to report from the perimeters on several funerals for police officers and firemen, and they always were extremely sad and emotional affairs. Even strangers were sorrowed, possibly over the shear number of men in dress blues holding back or wiping away tears.

But, over the past two days, I've had the opportunity to witness such an event from the inside after my cousin Celeste's husband, Pete Medley, died unexpectedly at 56, shortly after retiring from the Annapolis Police Department.

Another officer in that Maryland police department spent all of his off-duty daylight hours one day at my cousin's side, dispatching help for her every need. It came in the form of perfectly prepared food delivered for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The guy went as far as promising to find a babysitter for her sister that Saturday night.

This detective who they called Ben had a way of making everyone smile at just the right moments at the Medley home, when Medley's closest relatives were still in shock over his death from a blood infection that occurred within just about 24 hours of his taking ill.

It was impressive to see such a display of dedication and comfort to members of that police family.

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