Governor Ned Lamont directed US and state flags in Connecticut to be lowered to half-staff on Saturday, May 15, 2021, in recognition of Peace Officers Memorial Day. Peace Officers Memorial Day is a national observance paying tribute to local, state, and federal law enforcement officials who have died in the line of duty. It is recognized annually during National Police Week, which runs from May 9-15.
In 1962, President Kennedy issued the first proclamation for Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week to remember and honor law enforcement officers for their service and sacrifices.
“Law enforcement officials frequently put themselves in danger in the name of public protection, sometimes putting their own lives on the line in order to protect complete strangers,” Governor Lamont said. “We thank every law enforcement officer for the protection they provide in our neighborhoods, and we salute the fallen officers who have given their lives in the line of duty.”
In Greenwich, police are honoring the memory of three Greenwich Police Officers who died in the line of duty.
The flag of the Greenwich Police Department and the uniforms of our Honor Guard are emblazoned with three stars. These stars represent Officer William Robbins, Officer Joseph McCormack and Det. James Butler. These members of the Greenwich Police family died while serving the community of Greenwich.
Officer William J. Robbins – End of watch 05-17-1929
During the early morning of May 14, 1929, Officer Robbins was on routine motorcycle patrol on the Post Road. A resident operating a motor vehicle struck Officer Robbins while he was on patrol. He suffered a severe concussion and a broken femur in one leg as a result of the accident. Rushed to the hospital, he remained in an unconscious state for three days until his death from the traumatic head injury on May 17, 1929.
Officer Joseph P. McCormack – End of Watch 01-01-1944
On May 17, 1927, Officer McCormack was on duty with another officer when they made a routine motor vehicle stop. The three men in the car jumped out and ran. The officers caught one suspect, and the two others fled. While Officer McCormack stood guard of the arrested man at the scene, his partner walked to a call box a few blocks away to call Headquarters for assistance. While guarding the prisoner, a stolen vehicle drove to Officer McCormack. Two men jumped out, shot McCormack in the back. The prisoner and his cohorts sped away in the car they initially were driving. The bullet penetrated McCormack’s spine and left him paralyzed from the waist down until he died of his injuries. The three men were subsequently identified as members of a notorious gang of bandits out of Boston, Massachusetts, and were eventually arrested and sent to prison for their crimes.
Detective James J. Butler – End of Watch 04-18-1954
On Sunday, January 16, 1950, Greenwich Police Detective James Butler and his partner, Detective Thomas Burke, responded to an address in the back-country of town on the report of theft.