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NJDOC to Present Fallen Officers Memorial and Department Awards Ceremony
By New Jersey Department of Corrections
Published: 09/20/2012

The New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) will formally add the names of 12 officers who died in the line of duty between 1894 and 1978 to its permanent memorial to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, September 20, 10 a.m., on the grounds of the department’s Central Office headquarters in Trenton.

The brave individuals who are about to be added to the Fallen Officers Memorial were discovered thanks to the tireless research of Lieutenant Wayne Sanderson of New Jersey State Prison.

The program also will include a departmental awards presentation at which NJDOC employees who have distinguished themselves in and out of the workplace will be honored for their actions.

The centerpiece of the memorial is a granite and brick wall that includes an engraved dedication as well as the name of each officer who made the ultimate sacrifice. Community leaders, NJDOC officials, and family and friends of the fallen officers will be among those in attendance.

The new additions to the Fallen Officers Memorial will be Center Keeper Jacob Grandine Van Houten of New Jersey State Prison (died April 14, 1896), Captain William Harrison Hemsing of New Jersey State Prison (August 17, 1899), Deputy Keeper Charles I. Parker of New Jersey State Prison (October 25, 1900), Superintendent Joseph W. Martin of Rahway Reformatory (November 13, 1908), Deputy Keeper Edward McManus of New Jersey State Prison (February 18, 1909) and Center Keeper John R. Fitzgerald (May 10, 1911). Also, Deputy Keeper Eli B. Stetser of New Jersey State Prison (September 21, 1913), Deputy Keeper Frederick A. Douglass of New Jersey State Prison (March 11, 1915), Deputy Keeper Bruce Linwood Drummond of New Jersey State Prison (March 20, 1919), Deputy Keeper George Harrison of Convict Road Camp (May 4, 1924), Deputy Keeper Daniel J. Walsh of New Jersey State Prison (July 3, 1924) and Senior Correction Officer Dean Evans of New Jersey State Prison (July 7, 1978).

Significantly, the list of guests will include the great grandson and great great grandson of Deputy Keeper Douglass and the grandsons of Deputy Keeper Drummond.

In recognition of his exhaustive research, Lieutenant Sanderson will receive a Commissioner’s Commendation during the awards ceremony.

Among the other Commissioner’s Commendation recipients are Principal Investigator Daniel Klotz of the NJDOC’s Special Investigations Division and Supervisor Inspector Rick Cope of the United States Marshal Service, whose combined efforts were largely responsible for locating and apprehending fugitive George Wright, who had escaped from Bayside State Prison in 1970 and subsequently hijacked an airplane and used hostages to negotiate a ransom.

Said NJDOC Commissioner Gary M. Lanigan: “Dedication, honor and integrity. These are the core values that run through every story you will hear throughout the program, whether the incident took place last month or in the last century.

“By memorializing our fallen heroes in this fashion, all of us can gain a measure of appreciation of the impact these brave individuals had on the correctional field, the communities they were sworn to protect and the lives of those who knew and loved them,” the Commissioner continued.

“It also is important that we acknowledge those officers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. By saving a choking victim, rendering first aid at the scene of an automobile accident, rescuing a family from a fire or collaborating with other law enforcement agencies throughout the world to apprehend an escaped inmate, these men and women reflect the best of the New Jersey Department of Corrections.”


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