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Movement afoot to create 'Heroes Highway' outside Abingdon shopping center where deputies were shot

There's a movement underway to rename the road outside the Abingdon Panera in honor of two fallen deputies.

The state Senate is considering legislation to rename a portion of Emmorton Road in Abingdon to honor the two Harford County sheriff's deputies who were killed in the line of duty this month.

State Sen. Wayne Norman filed legislation to rename the stretch of Emmorton Road from Singer Road to Maryland Route 24 "Heroes Highway" in honor of Senior Deputies Patrick B. Dailey and Mark Logsdon. The Harford County Republican said the bill has quickly gained the unanimous support of the Senate.

Dailey, 52, and Logsdon, 43, were shot to death Feb. 10 while responding to a call about a wanted man seen at a Panera Bread restaurant in Abingdon.

Norman, a Republican, says he has secured support from every member of the state Senate.

Norman said the new name would be a fitting tribute.

"If we called it Heroes Highway, I thought it honored the two deputies and their families and also honors all law enforcement," he said.

Norman said he was inspired to propose the bill after seeing memorials for the slain officers. The restaurant where Dailey was shot and the apartment complex where Logsdon was shot are located within the two-mile stretch of road that would be renamed as a result of the bill.

"Tears welled up as I drove past the Sheriff's Department and saw two candles on the steps of the Sheriff's office," Norman wrote in a Facebook post. "I then had the idea of perhaps changing the name of a portion of Emmorton Road to honor the two deputies."

The post has received more than 7,000 likes and has been shared almost 2,800 times since it was uploaded Friday onto Facebook.

"I never saw anything like it," Norman said. "I had no idea that so many people would be receptive toward this idea."

Norman said all 47 members of the Maryland Senate signed on as cosponsors within an hour of proposing the legislation.

"I have never seen a unanimous bill in my ten years in the legislature," Norman said. "It's unbelievable. I was hoping I could get 20 or 25 signatures."

Norman said he filed the bill Friday. He hopes the House will vote unanimously to approve it.

"We are trying to find a way to get it through expeditiously," he said.

Senate Minority Leader J.B. Jennings said "Harford County has a long history of naming highways for people."

The Baltimore County Republican listed Route 24, which was renamed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway, and Main Street at Pennsylvania Avenue in Bel Air, which was renamed Kimmie Way in honor of figure skating world champion Kimmie Meissner.

Jennings said he supports Norman's legislation.

"We just think it is a very appropriate gesture to be done," he said. "It should remind people of the sacrifices and risks that every law enforcement officer makes every time they put on their uniform."

Jennings doesn't foresee opposition, but he said he is prepared to fight for the bill.

"We will try to push through any issues," he said. "We don't want one of those ceremonial names. We want a green, permanent name for part of that highway."

A funeral for Dailey was held Tuesday at Mountain Christian Church in Joppa. Logsdon's funeral was held Saturday at Harford Community College.

Authorities say David Brian Evans shot Dailey and Logsdon before deputies killed him. Evans, 68, had eluded police for nearly 20 years after he was suspected of shooting his ex-wife.

john-john.williams@baltsun.com

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