NH's police brotherhood closes ranks for fallen Brentwood officer
Berlin Police Headquarter's “Call of Duty” Memorial pays tribute to three Berlin police officers who died in the line of duty. John Koziol
Memorial is on WednesdayGov. Maggie Hassan has asked that flags remain at half-staff throughout the state in honor of fallen Brentwood Police Officer Steve Arkell through the day of his funeral.
A wake is scheduled for Officer Arkell Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Exeter High School gymnasium.
A memorial service is set for Wednesday at 11 a.m. at William Ball Stadium in Exeter.
A patrolman with the Brentwood Police Department for a dozen years, Arkell’s death was met with shock and sadness but also with immediate action by his brothers and sisters in blue who began covering shifts at the Brentwood Police Department while also organizing his memorial service and making sure that his wife and two daughters are helped.
Sielicki said that he’s never forgotten that day.
“Tragedy happens all over the state,” Sielicki continued, and now it has happened, again, on the Seacoast.
He and his officers moved back, Sielicki said, “just before the house exploded,” adding “we felt bad that we couldn’t get him (Arkell) out of the house and we feel very badly and our hearts go out to his family and department because I particularly know what they’re going through.”
“From what we’re hearing, there’ll be from 3,000 to 4,000 people from all over the country,” said Sielicki, among them “a very-large contingent from New Hampshire.”
Also vice president of the New England Association of Chiefs of Police, Smith said that the association, as it does in every such instance, will donate $2,500 to the Arkell family to help them with immediate financial needs.
“If you shoot a police officer, you’re shooting a representative of the state so we all look at that, that it could be someone here, so we all mourn that death.”
Pat Sullivan, who officially retired as chief of the Goffstown Police Department on May 12, said a fund has been established to benefit the Arkell family and that donations can be made to the Mrs. Stephen Arkell Fund, c/o TD Bank, 53 Church St., Kingston, NH 03848. He added that an online fund is also being developed.
Morency said it’s important to remember fallen officers and their families, something that the Berlin Police Department has done with its “Call to Duty” Memorial honoring Officers Robert Devoid and Dorman Wheelock, both of whom were killed on April 23, 1970, in a head-on collision, and Sgt. Paul Brodeur, who died on Aug. 13, 1975, from a heart attack while responding to a call.
Arkell’s death, Morency said, “is a tragedy and his family should know and must know that the entire community stands behind them and alongside them. Their loss is our loss.”
“It’s going to be hard on law enforcement in New Hampshire for a while and we still have to come together and mourn together at the walk-through and memorial service.”
Arkell’s death, he said, “strikes at the heart of everything in the law-enforcement community.”
“Over my career — I’m in my 32nd year – I’ve been to numerous law-enforcement funerals and you always hope that there isn’t another one,” said Cormier. “We never want something like this to happen. Steve Arkell made the supreme sacrifice and we’ll be mourning his loss and trying to do whatever we can as a law-enforcement family to take care of the Brentwood Police Department and that community.”
Sielicki said the brotherhood of police men and women will always be there for each other, in good times and bad, but “Unfortunately, this happens way too often in New Hampshire,” he said of an officer being injured or killed while on duty, “and at some point we’d like to see it stop.”
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