Patrol room dedicated to fallen Greenland chief
GREENLAND - Six months after her husband was gunned down in the line of duty, Peg Maloney returned to the police department he loved so much Friday morning to thank the community for its support and to dedicate a newly renovated patrol room in his honor.
'I know Michael would be very proud of everything that's taken place over the last several months, but especially here, his second home. I know his children, his grandson, family members that couldn't be here, they all wanted me to say thank you, God bless, and life will go on,' she told the more than 100 law enforcement, state and local officials, and other community members who filled the police department's sally port to formally dedicate the Chief Michael P. Maloney Memorial Patrol Room.
The room was renovated through a three-month project spearheaded by members of the Rotary Club of Portsmouth, who wanted to find a way to help the police department after the shooting.
Maloney, 48, was killed on April 12 in a hail of gunfire outside the Greenland home of Cullen Mutrie, who shot the chief and wounded four other officers who went to the residence to serve a search warrant as part of a drug investigation. Mutrie later shot and killed his girlfriend, Brittany Tibbetts, before killing himself.
Several businesses stepped forward with more than $15,000 in donations to renovate the patrol room. Advanced Custom Cabinets of Brentwood built and installed new custom shelves; Lowe's, Target and Walmart provided supplies, including the countertops, filing cabinets, laptops and a TV; and workers from Ricci Construction of Portsmouth who put it all together.
The room also includes a portrait of Maloney painted by Maine artist Arlene Kelley.
'The room is a way for Greenland Police Department to acknowledge that Chief Maloney is still, and will remain to be with us in our day-to-day functions,' said Police Chief Tara Laurent, who assumed the role of chief in the dark hours that followed Maloney's death.
Laurent thanked other businesses that made donations to enhance the police department's exterior, including High Flying Flag Co., Lang's Landscape Services Inc., Syphers Monument, and Light of Hope.
Others in attendance included Gov. John Lynch and Attorney General Michael Delaney.
Lynch said the room was a 'wonderful tribute' to Maloney, adding that he hopes those from future generations will walk into the room and remember Maloney as a 'good guy' who treated the community like his family and wanted to keep people safe.
Delaney shared similar thoughts as he recalled the night that changed the Greenland community forever.
'We gather six months after Michael Maloney sacrificed his life as the police chief in Greenland and the emotions of that day are still raw. The pain of Mike's loss still hurts so deeply for all of us,' Delaney said.
The dedication included no blessing of the room by a chaplain, Laurent said, because Maloney wasn't an overly religious man. Instead, she asked those in attendance to bless the room with the 'ideals that Chief Maloney held dear.'
'We will bless this room with integrity, with honesty, pride, teamwork, genuine friendship, dedication, and a love for family. This is what Mike was about. This is what we carry with us, and this is how we strive to live and work,' Laurent said.