QUANTICO, Va. (NNS) -- The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Headquarters in Quantico, VA, hosted a wreath-laying ceremony on Peace Officers Memorial Day, May 15.
The event honored the eight members of the Department of the Navy Law Enforcement community including Navy civilian police officer Sergeant Irving Snyder, Marine Corps criminal investigator Staff Sergeant Daniel Tindle, NCIS Special Agents Harry Schanz, Jerry Kramer, Douglas Kocina, Brett McKee, Thomas Marzilli and NCIS Investigator Joseph Emanuele-all of whom died in the line of duty.
Special Agent Mark Clookie, the director of NCIS, reminded the audience that NCIS gathers each year to pay tribute to those members of the Department of the Navy that we have lost in the line of the duty. Clookie stated that dedication to community and selfless sacrifice are the values of the fallen officers whose names are etched on the wall of the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. Director Clookie concluded his remarks with,"We thank all of our personnel, as well as their families, for their decision to serve us."
Raymond F. Geoffroy, Jr., assistant deputy commandant, HQMC, brought up the proximity of Memorial Day to Police Week.
"While many people think of the holiday as time away from work, or the start of summer, this is actually a time to recognize those who have gone before us, who have served and protected this nation," he said.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Special Harry Schanz's death and a number of his family members were in attendance at the ceremony. Marie Burris, one of Schanz's four daughters, spoke on behalf of their family. She described the shock of her father's death on family and friends, but also illustrated how far they have each come in 40 years. "As a family, we hope that you will continue to recognize those killed in the line of duty each year. We are always present [at this annual ceremony] in our hearts, but we will also be physically present whenever we can."
David McCallum, the actor who portrays Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard on the NCIS television show, and his wife, Katherine, were also present for the ceremony. The names of the fallen law enforcement officers were read out to the room while USMC Captain Mark Powers played the bagpipes. Director Clookie, Raymond F. Geoffroy, Jr., Blair Gluba, Naval Criminal Investigative Service Association President, and McCallum laid roses at the bases of each fallen officer's display to close the ceremony.
There were 173 local, state and federal law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2011, according to the National Law Enforcement officers Memorial Fund. That is a 13 percent increase over 2010.
NCIS is a federal law enforcement agency that protects and defends the U.S. Department of the Navy against terrorism and foreign intelligence threats, investigates major criminal offenses and provides law enforcement and security services to the Navy and Marine Corps on a worldwide basis. The agency is comprised of approximately 2,400 total employees, including 1,200 civilian special agents, in more than 150 locations around the world.
For more news from Naval Criminal Investigative Service, visit www.navy.mil/local/ncis/.