HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania State Police honored the department’s fallen troopers Monday in conjunction with its 117th anniversary. PSP was established by Governor Samuel Pennypacker on May 2, 1905, making it the first uniformed police agency of its kind in the United States.
Homage was also paid to four members who died in the line of duty since the last in-person ceremony in 2019, including: Trooper Donald C. Brackett, who died on May 18, 2019, due to a medical emergency; Trooper First Class Dung X. Martinez, who died on Oct. 21, 2021, due to complications from COVID-19; and Troopers Martin F. Mack III and Branden T. Sisca, both of whom died on March 21, 2022, after being struck by an intoxicated motorist.
“This year has been extremely difficult for all of our personnel as we solemnly etch additional names to the memorial wall,” said Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. “The 102 names etched into the wall not only represent the individual troopers who died in service to the commonwealth, but also the sacrifices of family members and loved ones who suffered their loss. Today we honor all those who laid down their lives and will ensure their contributions to our department are never forgotten.”
Gov. Tom Wolf marked the occasion by proclaiming May 2 as Pennsylvania State Police Day in the commonwealth.
“Frances and I extend our condolences to these troopers and their loved ones, as well as to the larger state police family and everyone affected by their loss,” said Gov. Wolf. “Today serves as an important reminder of the dangers faced by members of law enforcement throughout the commonwealth, and I ask all Pennsylvanians to pause in remembrance of the 102 troopers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Starting with an original complement of just 228 men, the department has grown over the past 117 years to a complement of more than 6,700 men and woman. It is the tenth-largest police agency in the United States.
The ceremony included a moment of silence, rifle salute, and helicopter flyover, as well as the reading of the names of all 102 fallen troopers. An online version of the PSP memorial wall, including photos and biographies of each member who died in the line of duty, is available at https://www.psp.pa.gov/memorial-wall/Pages/The-Memorial-Wall.aspx. Visitors are welcome to view the PSP memorial wall and search the computer kiosk inside the PSP Academy to learn more about each member who died while in service to the people of Pennsylvania.