Fund-raiser tomorrow for police memorial

Backers of project hope to make $50,000

September 29, 2001|By Jason Song | Jason Song,SUN STAFF

A long-awaited memorial for Baltimore police officers killed in the line of duty could come one step closer to reality tomorrow, when backers hope to raise about $50,000 at a bull roast.

Friends of the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police Memorial Fund Inc. hopes to attract about 1,500 people to the event, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Martin's West, 6817 Dogwood Road.

Profits will be given to the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police Memorial Fund Inc. Trustees of the fund have said they need about $500,000 more to complete the nearly $1 million memorial, which would be built next to the Shot Tower.

The memorial was originally to have cost $2.2 million and been completed by spring 1999.

"When we remember our [fallen] brothers, we do cry, we do laugh," said Kathy Irwin, a retired police officer who is helping organize the bull roast but is not involved in planning the memorial. "It would be nice to have a place to do that in Baltimore."

The proposed memorial would replace the current one, an arched wall on a 3/4 -acre site on North President Street.

Many say the wall, which doesn't have the names of the 109 officers who have died on the job, is inadequate.

"It doesn't truly demonstrate the loss of life that's been incurred," said Baltimore Police Lt. Col. John McEntee, a member of the board of trustees.

Some relatives of slain officers say they prefer to go to the National Police Memorial in Washington every year to mourn.

Initially, organizers hired award-winning architect Davis Buckley, who designed a large granite wall with multicolored archway.

The design was deemed too big and expensive and Buckley, who was paid at least $113,000, was replaced by Sam Crozier of Crozier Associates in Savage.

Crozier's design has more than 100 small columns of varying heights with plaques that commemorate slain officers. The preliminary designs will be unveiled tomorrow.

Tickets to the event are $35. Information: 410-987-7483 or 410-866-5380.

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