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‘Fallen but never forgotten’: Harford sheriff’s deputies remembered on 5-year anniversary of their deaths

Wednesday marked five years since Harford County Sheriff’s Office Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey and Deputy First Class Mark Logsdon were killed in the line of duty in Abingdon, although it has not felt like five years to the family members and fellow law enforcement officers who remember them every day.

“There has not been a day, since that tragic day, that I have not thought about Pat and Mark, about their sacrifice and their families,” Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said during a tribute held late Wednesday morning in the parking lot of the Park View at Box Hill senior apartment complex.

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It was on the afternoon of Feb. 10, 2016, that Dailey, 52, approached 68-year-old David Evans in the crowded Panera Bread restaurant in the Boulevard at Box Hill shopping center in Abingdon. Evans had been reported to the police after family members learned he was back in Harford County after being on the run for nearly 20 years, Evans was suspected of shooting and wounding his ex-wife in the late 1990s, and his adult son said had a history of abusing, stalking and threatening her.

Evans shot Dailey, a Marine Corps veteran, mortally wounding him. He then left the restaurant, walked across Box Hill South Parkway and back to his vehicle in the lot of the Park View apartments. He was confronted by responding officers, shot at them, striking and mortally wounding Logsdon, a 43-year-old Army veteran. The suspect was killed by return fire from the police.

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Multiple tributes to the fallen deputies have happened since then, including the state’s dedication in their name a section of Route 924 going past the shopping center. A number of events in the deputies’ honor were scheduled for Wednesday, including a morning flag raising and evening flag lowering at the traffic circle in the shopping center, a moment of silence at the Harford County Government administration building in the afternoon and a blood drive at the American Legion post in Edgewood.

“There has not been a day, since that tragic day, that I have not thought about Pat and Mark, about their sacrifice and their families,” Gahler said during the ceremony at Park View.

That, close to the spot where Logsdon fell, had been coordinated by the deputies’ loved ones. The speakers, in addition to the sheriff, included Logsdon’s mother, Debbie, and wife, Jennifer Logsdon-Hoppa, and Dailey’s fiance, Aimee Chandler. They stood by a memorial garden that has been established by the families in a grassy area adjacent to the parking lot.

Logsdon’s father, Pat, and his 5-year-old granddaughter Aubrey Yard, were among the loved ones present. Logsdon is survived by daughters Megan and Bethany — the latter is Aubrey’s mother. His son, Darin, died in August of 2019.

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Dailey is survived by two sons, Bryan and Tyler; Tyler Dailey has since joined the Sheriff’s Office, first as a cadet and then as a deputy after graduating from the agency’s training academy in 2019.

Gahler acknowledged the many tributes and remembrances of Dailey and Logsdon, who he called “heroes,” although he stressed that “we remember our heroes because they are heroes.”

“We remember them yesterday, as we do today, and we will continue to remember them and thank them for their service every single day,” Gahler said. “Five years has not changed that fact, nor will 20, 25 or 30 years — our heroes will be remembered forever.”

Loved ones remember

Debbie Logsdon said her son wanted to be a police officer since he was a child.

“He’d have his badge; he’d have his handcuffs,” she recalled. “He’d go around and say, ‘You’re under arrest, put your hands behind your back, you’re going to jail.’”

Logsdon said her son remained committed to his goal, joining the Sheriff’s Office and working in corrections after he left the military.

“You all call him a hero — he was my little boy,” she said, describing Mark as a person who grew up to be “a responsible, honorable man.”

Logsdon said the past five years have been “a lifetime for us,” and that “every day it hurts that these two heroes would be taken from us for no reason at all, because they were doing the job that they loved.”

She encouraged those present to “be good to each other, and take care of your county and take care of your officers.”

“Please, please, please take care of your officers, because they need your love, your support and your prayers to keep them going every day,” she said.

Chandler remembered Dailey for being “an outstanding deputy, citizen, father and friend,” plus she remembered his “great love for animals.”

“On and off duty, he took time out of his day to talk to you, using his famous ‘air quotes’ to genuinely see how you are doing,” she recalled. “If you needed anything, he genuinely cared.”

Chandler noted that “grief is love unfinished,” and that the remembrances Wednesday were not only about how Dailey and Logsdon lived their lives but how those who remember them can heal.

“As we know tomorrow is never promised,” she said. “Love is a souvenir from our loved ones; once it is given, it is not forgotten, and it will never disappear.”

Logsdon-Hoppa recalled the events of Feb. 10, 2016, a day when she “woke up like every other day.”

“I went to work, not realizing that my entire world was about to be shattered,” she said.

She said tragic events of the day “put new perspective on life, how fragile it is, what little control we have and how quickly things can change.”

“As I stand here today, it’s hard to believe it’s been five years,” she said. “There are days it feels like so long ago, and there are days like today — it feels, of course, like it was yesterday.”

Logsdon-Hoppa highlighted how her and her late husband’s daughters have grown into adulthood, and she touched on the passing of their son.

“But of course you know all of this,” she said, addressing Mark, “because you’re with us and watching over us, and some days it’s very evident by the signs you give us.”

She stressed that “we will never move on,” regardless of how many years pass, “as moving on means to leave and implies forgetting, we will never forget — I don’t want to forget.”

“Although we will never move on, we must move forward as we all have a purpose,” she said.

Logsdon-Hoppa described the painful process of moving forward, of learning “it’s OK to be happy without” her husband and stressing that “our memories are safe in my heart and nothing can take them away.”

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“Today we celebrate their lives and remember the times, and shenanigans, we shared,” she said of Dailey and Logsdon. “They are fallen but never forgotten.”

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