Coppin scholarship honors city officer killed in Oct. crash

Criminal justice majors to benefit from fund

May 17, 1999|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

The parents of a Baltimore police officer killed seven months ago when two police vehicles collided in a horrific crash are announcing today a scholarship fund named in their son's honor at Coppin State College.

The Officer Harold Jerome Carey Endowed Scholarship Fund will be used to help students who want to major in criminal justice. Family members and police Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier plan to give details about the fund at a news conference today.

"We wanted to do something for the community," said Carey's mother, Carolyn Carey, an English professor at Coppin who attended this weekend's Peace Officers Memorial Day ceremony in Washington. Tribute was paid to 156 officers killed across the country last year -- including the two U.S. Capitol officers gunned down July 24.

Carey's name was etched on a memorial with nearly 15,000 names. Also added was Baltimore Officer Barry W. Wood, a police helicopter pilot who was killed when his aircraft crashed Nov. 4, five days after Carey was killed.

The time of the two deaths -- the 98th and 99th city officers to die on duty since 1870 -- was described by Frazier as one of the most traumatic for the 3,200-member department. Wood died as Carey's funeral procession was heading toward a burial service in Timonium.

"Officer Carey is forever a member of the police family," Frazier said. "This is his legacy."

Carey, who would have celebrated his 29th birthday Wednesday, was known as the "Gentle Giant" for his large size but light-hearted demeanor. The Douglass High School graduate studied engineering at a Pennsylvania college, but decided to become a police officer in 1992.

He was a passenger in a police van that collided with a patrol car in a Charles Village intersection. The officers were speeding to help a colleague who was struggling with a suspect at a gas station.

Colleagues described Carey -- who grew up in Baltimore -- as an aggressive officer who took it as a personal insult when drug dealers did not pack up and abandon their corners when he went on duty.

"Officer Carey wholeheartedly embraced the code and ethics of law enforcement, not only while on duty, but also as he lived his civilian life," said his father, Harold A. Carey Jr. "He was a model citizen of Baltimore City and the state of Maryland."

Mr. Carey started the endowment fund with $1,000. "It could help hundreds of students over time," said Julie Haskins-Turner, executive assistant to Coppin State College Vice President Hattie N. Washington.

Timing the announcement of the scholarship with the national tribute to fallen officers and Carey's birthday will help fund-raising efforts, officials said. "It certainly is a sad occasion," Haskins-Turner said. "But it is an ideal time to honor him."

Carey's foundation will join several others bearing the names of Baltimore police officers killed in the line of duty. Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 runs two -- one for Lt. Owen E. Sweeney Jr., who was shot in May 1998, and for Vincent J. Adolfo, who was killed in 1985.

The Frank Battaglia Signal 13 Foundation -- named for a former commissioner and the police code used when an officer is in trouble -- assists officers or their sick children or helps with their children's education. The work of the foundations, said Officer Gary McLhinney, president of the police union, "helps keep their memory alive, and it gives the survivors something to focus on."

Information on the scholarship: Hattie N. Washington, Coppin State College, 410-383-5960.

Pub Date: 5/17/99

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