Four years ago, David Muhl created a Web site to honor Maryland police officers killed in the line of duty.
Now the Crofton police sergeant is planning another tribute: a memorial in the state capital. Beginning next week, Muhl will begin raising money for the memorial, which he expects will cost about $300,000.
"Last year I came up with this idea, and I've flown with it," Muhl said.
Muhl says he's working with Fraternal Order of Police lodges across the state to plan bull roasts, raffles and other fund-raisers. Muhl, a former Baltimore police officer, also is looking for individual donors.
He envisions a U-shaped memorial with the names of fallen officers, the dates they died and their ranks. Shrubs and flowers would surround the memorial, and there would be an elevated area in the back for services.
Muhl said he was inspired to create the memorial Web site, www.mdfallenofficers.org, after the death of Bruce A. Prothero, a Baltimore County police sergeant killed in 2000 as he chased two robbers from a jewelry store. The 35-year-old sergeant was working a second job as a security guard in the store.
"At that point, I started to do a memorial Web site," Muhl said. "As time went on, I went to our [Fraternal Order of Police] and asked if we could do more than just a Web site."
Muhl said he doesn't have a memorial site in mind yet, although he's been working with the state Department of General Services to identify possible locations in Annapolis.
Department of General Services spokeswoman Anne Hubbard said that even though space in Annapolis is tight, the department is trying to work with Muhl.
"There hasn't been any property identified yet," Hubbard said. "However, our real estate office is looking forward to working with Mr. Muhl to identify if there's any potential property for this type of use."
Muhl's memorial would not be the first in the region. Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium has its Fallen Heroes Memorial, where many officers are buried and where many ceremonies honoring fallen officers are held. Although Washington has a national fallen officers memorial, several states have begun building their own. Anne Arundel County Sheriff George F. Johnson IV, who is working with Muhl on the memorial project, said it is important for states to recognize police officers killed in the line of duty.
"A lot of times, people don't get the opportunity to go to Washington and visit the memorial," the sheriff said. "If we make this more local, and put it in our own state, it gives families an opportunity to pay tribute to their loved ones. People who put their lives on the line deserve that."
Information: www.mdfallen officers.org or Crofton Town Hall, 301-261-6021.