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Thu April 19, 2012
Thousands Mourn Slain Police Chief
Thursday was the funeral of Greenland Chief of Police, Michael Maloney. Maloney was killed last week by alleged drug-dealer Cullen Mutrie while serving a search warrant.
The story of Michael Maloney’s death has gripped the granite state during the past week: tackling one last job only days from retirement, killed while dragging a fellow officer to safety, amid gunfire that wounded four other officers.
The story of his life that has emerged in the days since the shooting paint a picture of a patrolman’s chief, a cop’s cop and a family man.
News helicopters circled Memorial Field at Winnacunnet High School, Maloney’s alma mater, and thousands police officers came to pay their respects.
The arrival of Maloney’s hearse was preceded by a procession of police officers on gleaming motorcycles.
Sherri Page is the wife of Brian Page, who served with Maloney in the North Hampton Police department. She says, "I heard that they had a group [of police officers] from Missippi, Chicago, Boston, I hear that a group from San Diego is supposed to be here."
She says she’s overwhelmed by the show of support. And that support is freely given.
Captain Bill Shupe of the Exeter Police department uses a sports metaphor to help the layperson understand the bond between police officers.
"In one word, it’s a brotherhood. Even if you grew up in sports, being a member of a team, you get the idea of what it’s like to be on a team, trying to accomplish the same goal."
The gathered police officers sat in folding chairs on the football field. The bleachers were full and the crowd spilled out onto the berms surrounding the field.
The nation’s highest law-enforcement official US Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, was the first to speak.
"We bid farewell to a proud native son, a dedicated public servant, a loving husband, father and grandfather," says Holder, "and also a hero in every sense of the word."
New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney, Senator Kelly Ayotte, and Governor John Lynch were also on hand to pay their respects to Chief Maloney.
But the most touching words came from those who knew him.
His younger brother, Tim Maloney, began jokingly with stories of riding in his brother’s cruiser for a shift, which he likened to playing a game of “ticket or no ticket.”
But his words turned somber, and he closed with the lines of a poem, called I am a Warrior, as sirens wailed in the distance.
"Cry not at my passing, because it was my honor to serve with all of you. Shed not tears of sorrow but tears of joy, for now I rest in peace," read Maloney.
The funeral closed after a flyover by a police helicopter and airplane, and the crowd began to file out, providing -- for the time being -- some closure for those close to Chief Michael Maloney.