BINGHAMTON, NY – A solemn ceremony was held outside the Broome County Sheriff’s Office today to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The Southern Tier Law Enforcement Memorial Association held its annual flag raising to honor the 38 officers killed in the line of duty in our region.

The deaths span from 1845 to 2014.

A police procession traveled from the Greater Binghamton Health Center, site of last year’s ceremony, and the event included a wreath laying, honor roll with roses, taps, an honor volley and Amazing Grace performed by local law enforcement members.

State Police Trooper Christopher Skinner was killed while making a traffic stop on May 29th, 2014.
His mother Sharyn says it’s still hard to believe that he’s gone.

“These things make the public stop and think about it along with the roadside where he was killed. We go up there on the 29th of May and we keep that site going. It just reminds people of it and I think we need to remember all of the people that we’ve lost.” she says.

Broome County Sheriff Dave Harder gave the keynote address.

He’s retiring at the end of this year after 58 years at the Sheriff’s Department, 24 of them as Sheriff.

Harder says he was out of town on July 4th, 2002, when the Sheriff’s Department suffered its lone line of duty death, Deputy Kevin Tarsia.

Harder says he was told to hurry back to town.

“I didn’t know what was going on for sure. They didn’t want to tell me that he had died in the line of duty. They said, ‘Hurry up and get back here.’ A big manhunt went on. I stayed back a lot because I didn’t want to be one of those bosses telling people what to do. They know their job, just keep me informed.” he says.

Police Week, which began 40 years ago, continues with the annual breakfast tomorrow morning at Pheasant Hills Golf Course in Owego.