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'No governor ever wants to give remarks like this,' Hogan says at fallen Harford deputy's funeral

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler, County Executive Barry Glassman, other members of the sheriff's command staff and police chiefs from agencies across the state were lined up outside, as the body of fallen Deputy First Class Mark Logsdon arrived for his funeral service at Harford Community College Saturday morning.

Across from them stood members of DFC Logsdon's unit with the Sheriff's Office, as bagpipers played to honor the senior deputy, who was shot to death in the line of duty 10 days earlier.

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Fourteen members of the Baltimore County Police Department Honor Guard supported the Sheriff's Office Honor Guard, on which DFC Logsdon had served.

"There's a common bond. Unless you're in this profession, it's tough to explain," BCPD Sgt. Brandon Branham said. "We can grieve together and understand it."

Inside the APG Federal Credit Union Arena, where the funeral was held, a Sheriff's Office badge with a blue and black band across it was projected on a screen above the stage. A banner signed by school children was hung across the lower portion of the stage.

The colors were raised, the bagpipes played as the sheriffs office color guard led DFC Logsdon's casket inside the arena and onto the stage.

Hogan paused in front of DFC Logsdon's casket and laid his hand on it before going to the podium to speak.

"We are here to honor the sacrifice and celebrate the incredible life of one of our true heroes, DFC Mark Logsdon," Hogan said.

He quoted the Bible, John, Chapter 15, verse 13: "Greater love hath no meaning than this, than a man who laid down his life for his friends."

"No governor ever wants to give remarks like this," he said.

"I stand here knowing no words can ease the hurt or help us understand such overwhelming heartbreak," Hogan continued. "I do know what we can do: Ensure the legacy of Mark Logsdon and the memories of his tremendous sacrifice lives on in the hearts of each and very one of us.

The procession for Harford County Sheriff's Deputy First Class Mark Logsdon arrives at Harford Community College. Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey and DFC Logsdon were shot and killed in the line of duty Feb. 10. (Baltimore Sun video)

"He will live on through the legacy of loving son, father, brother and friend, of a proud soldier who dedicated 12 years of service to the U.S. Army and as a deputy who spent the last 16 years serving the Sheriff's Office."

"Our entire state grieves the loss of one of its heroes today, while remaining ever grateful for a life well-lived," Hogan said. "He will never be forgotten."

DFC Logsdon, 43, and Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey, 52, were shot to death in Abingdon on Feb. 10.

Police say Senior Deputy Dailey was mortally wounded inside the Panera Bread cafe in the Boulevard at Box Hill shopping center where he had gone to investigate a complaint regarding David Brian Evans, who was believed to have outstanding warrants. After shooting Senior Deputy Dailey, police say Evans fled toward a nearby senior citizen apartment building where he was confronted by other deputies and fatally shot DFC Logsdon, 43, before other deputies killed Evans.

A close friend, Sheriff's Office DFC John "Marty" Hoppa, remembered the lighter side of DFC Logsdon.

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Most of his (Logsdon's) stories began with "one time when we were out having some beers" that "probably aren't appropriate for here," Hoppa said.

DFC Logsdon, who seldom called his friends by their first names, had several nicknames himself, including "Log," "Logdog," and "Lunchbox," because at lunchtime he would everyone else's leftovers, he said.

"We were the kind of friends who even if we hadn't seen [each other] for a while, we would pick up where we left off," Hoppa added.

The two men graduated from the sheriff's academy together and, following 9/11, DFC Logsdon, an active Army reservist, was deployed first to the Pentagon, then to Guantanamo Bay and then to Iraq.

They would email often and in one of those emails, Hoppa recalled, DFC Logsdon said he was having problems at home and asked if he could stay with Hoppa when he returned from deployment.

When Hoppa replied in the affirmative, DFC Logsdon emailed: "Good, I'm at BWI," Hoppa said.

DFC Logsdon stayed in Hoppa's basement for a while and was there when Hoppa's daughter was born, earning him another nickname, "Uncle Mark."

"I was with him the night he met Jennifer [DFC Logsdon's wife] and I could see how happy he became. A short time later, we got the basement back," Hoppa said.

He also recalled going to the hospital when DFC Logsdon was in an accident involving a Sheriff's Office vehicle. It was the same day DFC Logsdon had been put on the list to be a driving instructor.

"I asked him at the hospital, 'So, you're the new driving instructor?'" Hoppa said. "And Mark replied, 'I was just trying to show what not do to.'"

A die-hard Ravens fan, Hoppa swore he would never support DFC Logsdon's favorite team, the Seattle Seahawks. But he did Saturday, donning their cap.

"I will wear this in honor of Mark and represent the 12th man."

"He was more than co-worker, he was family who died a hero," Hoppa said. "Try to live life a little more like Mark did – try not to take everything so serious, smile more and have a good time with family and friends."

Golf was one of DFS Logsdon's passions, and he played often with Adam Argenbright of the Maryland State Police.

With a golfing ability "slightly better than the average trooper," DFC Logsdon would call on Argenbright, also known as "The Ringer," when he wanted to win, the state trooper recalled.

Argenbright said he and DFC Logsdon played in the Law Enforcement Memorial Golf Tournament every year. He won't play this year, though, because his partner won't be there with him.

A Marine, Argenbright and DFC Logsdon were deployed to Guantanamo Bay together and, one Saturday when they had off, they asked someone at the PX what there was to do, and she suggested golf.

The two instantly perked up and decided to try it.

They got to the course, paid their $10 and were handed an 8-by-8-inch piece of artificial turf, Argenbright said.

"Mark asked, 'what's this for?' And the man said, 'there's no grass on the course. You put this down and hit the ball off that.' Mark stood there for a second and said, 'Well, you can't blame it on a bad lie,'" Argenbright recalled.

"We played, we had a great time. Some of the things we did on the golf course also aren't appropriate," he said.

DFC Logsdon also wrote sayings on golf balls.

When asked why, Argenbright recalled him saying: "If someone picks up the ball in the woods, it will say, 'you're in the woods.'"

"His positive atmosphere affected everyone," Argenbright said.

When DFC Logsdon was asked why he had joined the Sheriff's Office, his answer was like many others: "I want to make a difference," his commanding officer remembered.

"Those important words still ring true today. Mark had made a difference," Capt. W. Michael Crabbs, commander of the Community Services Division, where DFC Logsdon worked, said.

Crabbs said DFC Logsdon, who joined the unit in April 2008, excelled "at dealing with the community."

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He worked on crime prevention initiatives, the Badges for Baseball program connecting officers to kids in the community, the Christmas toy drive, March of Dimes, bike rodeos and the Safety for Seniors program.

"One time he asked me about that, because I was 'of that age,'" Crabbs joked.

Every Harford County resident will have an image or remember where they were Feb. 10, the day DFC Logsdon and Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey were killed, County Executive Glassman said.

For him, it was the long walk down a hallway at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air, where DFC Logsdon was pronounced dead, to meet with his family and his comrades.

"I saw a large group of Harford County sheriff's deputies, watching, the family weeping at his bedside," Glassman said.

At first sight and even at rest, DFC Logsdon was a "mountain of a man" in physical stature, the county executive said.

"We learned this week he is one with even a bigger heart and spirit," he added.

"I woke up this morning hoping today would be a little easier or less painful as I give thanks for remembering the price Mark paid for Harford County. But I can tell you that it is not," Glassman said.

"I am in awe of those men and women in blue who set aside very human instinct…and run toward unspeakable danger," he said. "Mark did that not only for his fellow deputies, but for all of us and on behalf of Harford County, we are thankful for a man with extraordinary courage."

Before Sheriff Gahler walked up to the stage to speak, he paused and saluted Deputy First Class Logsdon's casket and then laid his hand on it.

Choking back tears, he thanked the Logsdon family.

"Thank you for allowing Mark to be part of our lives. On holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, other countless times he was away from you," Gahler said.

"It's never easy to stay goodbye. With heavy hearts, Mark lives on a hero. Mark is truly a hero in big and small," Gahler said. "He protected our lives, our homes, our community, our property. He was a loyal and treasured friend to those who know him."

Police work not a career with best of schedules. It's 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, Gahler said. Deputies are taken away from their families for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and other special events.

"More importantly, police work is more what happens every single day, in community after community, police work is a life full of unbelievable reward," Gahler said. "We live in a better world because of so many people like you. We live in a better world because Mark."

Addressing his deputies, the sheriff said he is proud of them.

"I am proud of each and every one of you. You share in the family's loss, as this office is a family, with 600 broken hearts," he said. "But we have not, for a moment, failed to meet the needs of our community. We have filled the responsibility of our office while leaning on each other for support and encouragement, which remains unwavering."

Since DFC Logsdon and Senior Deputy Dailey were killed, Gahler said he has heard so many what ifs.

"What if he didn't answer the call, what if I could have been there first, what if I could have gotten there faster?" the sheriff asked. "The discussion of what ifs is part of the way we process loss, but no what ifs would have made a difference that day and no what ifs will bring him back."

Instead, Gahler asked:

"What if we didn't have a community as we have here in Harford County, people who provide our deputies and Mark's family with overwhelming support and love?"

"What if we didn't have the Harford County Sheriff's Office family, a courageous family of men and women who have held each other close and supported one another while never failing to protect the community?"

"What if we didn't have heroes like DFC Mark Logsdon, a deputy willing to put his life on the line?"

"Mark knew the risks of being a police officer," Gahler said, pointing out DFC Logsdon was an honor guard member. "He personally saw so many more times the sorrow that descends on the community and agency in a time of loss."

Gahler posed another question, paraphrasing Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll: "If we really took care of our guys, really took care of each individual, what would happen?'

"So I say, take care of each other, each and every one," Gahler said. "God bless each law enforcement officer, God bless Mark and Pat and their families. God bless each and every one of you."

DFC Logsdon, who lived in Fallston, is survived by his wife, Jennifer Schott Logsdon; a son, Darin; two daughters, Bethany and Megan; and his parents, John Patrick and Debra Ann Cook Logsdon.

Following the service, every member of the Harford Sheriff's Office stood at attention and bagpipes played as Deputy First Class Logsdon's casket was brought outside to the waiting hearse.

The motorcade to Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium, where Deputy First Class Logsdon will answer his last call and be buried, began around 1 p.m.

The motorcade was led by dozens of motorcycles from the Sheriff's Office and other police agencies, followed by police cars of every description.

Hundreds of people stood on overpasses along I-95, waiting to pay their respects to the fallen deputy, according to Cristie Kahler, a spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office, who was riding in the long motorcade.

As the motorcade drove along I-95, I-695 and I-83 toward the cemetery, some people stopped their vehicles and got out, standing at attention, waving flags or holding up signs, Kahler said, calling the sight "amazing."

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