No Confrontation at Police Memorial Service
Mayor Fenty showed up as promised today at the Fraternal Order of Police's annual memorial service for fallen officers, despite the group having rescinded its invitation to him yesterday. The stage had been set for a showdown after union officials suggested some officers might turn their backs on the mayor, but the event proceeded without incident. It may have helped that Fenty did not speak during the one-hour ceremony for officers Ernest Carlyle Ricks III and Wayne Pitt of the Metropolitan Police Department, Officer Luke T. Hoffman of the Montgomery County Police, Corp. Scott Wheeler of Howard County and Corp. Courtney G. Brooks of the Maryland Transit Authority.
Before the proceedings began, Fenty made a quick tour of the room, shaking hands with officers and greeting Chief Cathy L. Lanier. He sat next to her in the front row during the ceremony, and hugged some of the relatives of the fallen officers. Afterward, Fenty gave a brief statement to the mob of reporters, calling it a "tremendous ceremony that showed professionalism and dignity." He called the MPD the "best in the country" and offered condolences to the fallen officers' families. "We support all the officers," Fenty said. "You are the true heroes."
Fenty did not answer questions shouted out by reporters, who asked what he would do to repair damaged relations with the union. The mayor said he was late for another event and left.
Marcello Muzzatti, president of Lodge 1 of the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents 11,000 active and retired officers in the region, had sent the letter to Lanier yesterday asking her to dis-invite the mayor. He said today that the group "got our message across." He said Fenty should meet with the FOP and "open a dialogue" that would help mend any hard feelings.
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