Law enforcement officers from around the state and country attended the funeral service of fallen Harford County Sheriff's Office Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey. (Kevin Richardson)
Harford County Sheriff's Office Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey was remembered Wednesday as a patriot, a wonderful father and a hero, as thousands of friends, family members and colleagues from across the nation said goodbye to the fallen officer.
"By the show of solidarity we see here today, they are proud members of the thin blue line," Gov. Larry Hogan said during Senior Deputy Dailey's funeral at the Mountain Christian Church New Life Center in Joppa. "They bring honor to their badges every day, who come together to lay their colleague to rest."
"We show an eternal gratitude of a state that will forever be in his debt," the governor said.
Hogan extended his deepest sympathies to Dailey's family and "all those who loved him."
"I am representing people of a grateful state to honor the sacrifice of one of our true heroes," said Hogan, who added he is "heartbroken" by a senseless tragedy and a life cut too short.
The governor didn't know Senior Deputy Dailey personally, but knows the kind of man he was.
"A beloved son, brother, father, cherished friend and a respected member of the law enforcement and volunteer firefighting families," Hogan said.
"Maryland owes a debt to Deputy Dailey and to all our men and our women in blue," he continued. "They know that accolades are often too few and the risks are great, but every day, they put on the badge. Every day, they answer the call to serve something far greater than themselves."
"For them, that's the job," Hogan said. "Yet when a brother is lost, it is felt by every county deputy, every state trooper, police officer, across this state, across this nation."
Senior Deputy Dailey and Senior Deputy Mark Logsdon were shot to death in Abingdon, when they responded to a call about a man with outstanding warrants inside a Panera Bread restaurant. Police say David Evans, 68, shot Dailey inside the restaurant and then Logsdon when Evans fled to a nearby parking lot. Evans was then shot by other deputies.
The two deputies violent deaths in the line of duty were the first experienced by the Harford Sheriff's Office in more than a century and have touched off a huge outpouring of sympathy and support for the police from all over Harford County and beyond.
During Wednesday's service, Michael Johnson, the Senior Deputy Dailey's nephew, Michael Johnson, asked everyone to stand and say the pledge of allegiance.
"I couldn't think of a better way to remember my uncle," Johnson said, using "patriot" as the one word to describe him.
He did a fantastic job of raising his boys, Johnson said.
"Spending time the last week with these two boys and his extended family has renewed my faith in the next generation," he said.
"I knew my uncle for 38 years, but I learned more about my uncle in those two minutes than I ever did before," Johnson said.
"To have a total stranger cry on my shoulder because he was truly saddened and upset, that summed up who he was as a man and as a human being. I couldn't think of a better way to remember my uncle," Johnson said.
Senior Deputy Dailey's sons, Bryan and Tyler, spoke as well.
"Wow. I just want to thank everybody. I can't thank everyone enough…to all of you, after seeing something like this happen, for getting up and going back to work," Tyler said.
Bryan read a poem and afterward said "I can see now, my father was an amazing person. I heard so many stories I've never heard."
"I never knew all things he had done," Tyler said. "I knew he was a police officer, or deputy – he'd probably hit me if I said he was a police officer."
Tyler said he and his brother "want to do him like he did us as a father."
Tyler said he would miss hiking with his dad, going to Gettysburg, walking on frozen lakes – "and almost falling through the lakes" – and going to reenactments – "he turned us both into war nerds."
He urged everyone in the room: "If you see someone who needs help, help them, that's what he would do."
Sgt. Patrick Vetrone, commander of the Sheriff's Office civil unit where Senior Deputy Dailey worked, recalled meeting him at the police academy and getting to know him better after he moved into the unit.
"I relied on him more than on any other deputy in the unit," Vetrone said, adding that Senior Deputy Dailey was easy to talk to.
"He knew a little something about everything, maybe that's why we got along so well," Vetrone said. They often talked about wars, hiking, wines and may other subjects.
Senior Deputy Dailey is the type of deputy everyone in the Sheriff's Office strives to be, Vetrone said.
"He was hardworking, knowledgeable. Above all he had honor," he said. "We are sad and need to grieve, but I ask you to close your eyes and remember his squinty eyes and smile he loved to give."
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman had a chance meeting with Senior Deputy Dailey just a few days before he was killed.
"He stopped in to check on us at the [county administrative] building," Glassman said.
The two made small talk, chatting about the fire banquet season and which one Glassman was going to attend the next Saturday.
"He thanked me for going to the banquets just to say thank you, and we wished each other a good weekend," Glassman said. "And now, in the blink of an eye, I'm here to say 'thank you' from a grateful county for giving his life on that winter day."
Glassman said Senior Deputy Dailey will be remembered at every flashing light bar in Harford County or the cry of a siren from a fire engine, "still on patrol over his beloved county.
"We are shaken, but we are still steady, like those deputies who will carry on in his footsteps, we are brave and not afraid," he said.
Like the governor, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said the Sheriff's Office is heartbroken.
"However, our agency is not, cannot and will not be broken," Gahler said. "The men and women of this office are heroes, every single one, they continue and have continued since last Wednesday to provide public safety services to our Harford County community. They do it with heavy hearts and tearful eyes, but they do it with unmatched strength and willpower."
The thing he was most proud of was his boys. To see them is to see the kind of man he was.
"In his final act, he responded to a call to treat kindly a man he did not know and to give his life for the community he loved," Gahler said of the circumstances that led up to the fatal shooting.
Law enforcement is a unique endeavor, the sheriff said.
"Some say it's a profession, most say it's a calling. I certainly believe it's a calling and I think Pat believed 100 percent it's a calling," he said. "And I have no doubt that other lives, if not for Pat, if not for Mark, would have been lost. In our loss, other lives were saved."
Bryan and Tyler Dailey "are the strongest young men I've ever seen," Gahler said.
Following the 90-minute funeral service, Senior Deputy Dailey's casket was brought outside where hundreds of uniformed law enforcement officers lined up at attention for an End of Watch Ceremony.
Honor guards raised their flags and bagpipers played "Amazing Grace."
After a 21-gun salute, a solitary bugler played taps.
After eight police helicopters flew over, a 911 Center dispatcher's voice came over a loudspeaker, reciting the fallen deputy's badge number 186 and the time and date when he was fatally shot: 11:56 a.m. Feb. 10, 2016.
The casket was placed on the back of the same Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company pumper truck on which it had arrived for the service.
A long motorcade, fronted by police motorcycles and consisting of scores of police and fire vehicles, then made its way slowly from the church and north on Route 152 to Fallston, where it turned east on Route 1 and headed to Bel Air, where it turned north onto Main Street.
As the procession passed the Sheriff's Office headquarters around 1:30 p.m., people stood solemnly along both sides of Main Street, watching or shooting photos and video with cell phones. At least one person slowly waved a small American flag.
The motorcade ended at the McComas Funeral Home on North Broadway. No burial service is planned, according to the Sheriff's Office.
The hundreds of law enforcement officers from around Maryland and other states who participated in Wednesday's funeral, some from as far away as New York and Chicago, began showing up early around Mountain Christian.
With bagpipes playing in the background, their police vehicles, parked side by side, filled Route 152 in both directions.
Senior Deputy Dailey's body arrived at the church on the back of the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company fire truck, escorted by dozens of police motorcycles. Bryan and Tyler Dailey, both volunteer firefighters like their father, were on the back of the truck for the ride from the funeral home to Mountain Christian Church.
Eleven National Capital Park Police officers were mounted on horses atop the hill overlooking the New Life Center. The unit of 11 horses, mostly Clydesdales, not only patrols, but also attends special functions such as funerals.
"We are here to honor our brother," Senior Sgt. Mary Devine said. "Each of us recognizes that on any given day that could be us. And we are a family. If anyone in our family is hurt or injured or killed, of course it affects all of us."
Cpl. Pat Wilhelm, with the Baltimore County Police Department, said he met Senior Deputy Dailey, who was a member of the Sheriff's Office Honor Guard, during past ceremonies honoring fallen officers.
"We are honoring his years of service in law enforcement," Wilhelm said, adding, "It makes you grateful that you're here."
It was quiet outside the church as hundreds of officers lined up waiting for the arrival of Senior Deputy Dailey from the McComas Funeral Home in Abingdon.
Honor guards from Metropolitan Police in Washington, D.C., Baltimore County Sheriffs Office, U.S. Park Police and University Maryland Police, among others are lined up, flags in hand, with the officers, most of them Harford County Sheriff's deputies.
Inside, a slide show of Senior Deputy Dailey, his family and friends played.
Thousands of people also visited Mountain Christian's New Life Center Monday and Tuesday to pay respects to Senior Deputy Dailey.
Following a fire service memorial service on Tuesday night at the New Life Center, he was taken to McComas funeral home in Abingdon where another visitation was held from midnight to 7 a.m., according to a Sheriff's Office spokesperson.
Visitation for Senior Deputy Logsdon will be Thursday and Friday from 2 to 9 p.m. at the Mountain Christian New Life Center. His funeral is 10 a.m. Saturday at the APGFCU Credit Union on the campus of Harford Community College, with burial to follow at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium.