By Sgt. Mike Barry PAPD (ret.)
As summer winds down we see that violence against police has not. On July 7, 2021 Detective Greg Ferency of the Terra Haute, Indiana PD was shot and killed outside of the FBI Indianapolis Resident Agency. A suspect ambushed Detective Ferency in front of the building simply because he apparently hated law enforcement. FBI agents rushed outside and shot the subject, who then drove himself to a local hospital, where he was taken into custody. Detective Ferency had served with the Terre Haute Police Department for 30 years and was assigned to the FBI Task Force. The uptick in irrational violence targeting police is particularly concerning to the NPDF. Shooting at a police officer is never justified but these irrational, politically motivated attacks on law enforcement are an attack upon the civil society by unhinged anarchists; and that’s a threat to all of us.
On July 15th, 2021 Sergeant Josh Bartlett of the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office in Texas was shot and killed during a barricaded suspect incident at a home. Earlier that morning the subject had been stopped by a Texas Highway Patrol trooper for reckless driving and attempted to bait the officer into a confrontation. The subject returned home after the encounter and began walking through the neighborhood with a firearm openly displayed. When officers from the Levelland Police Department arrived, the man opened fire on them and then barricaded himself inside a home. The regional SWAT team was requested as the man randomly fired shots at police. Sergeant Bartlett and three other members of the SWAT team were shot as they engaged the subject. Several other team members were wounded, one critically and Sgt. Bartlett was killed. The suspect was ultimately taken into custody.
Coronavirus took the life of Officer Erik J Skelton, United States Department of Homeland Security – Customs and Border Protection on August 24th, 2021. Officer Erik Skelton died from complications as the result of contracting COVID-19 while working at the Miami International Airport. Officer Skelton had served with the United States Department of Homeland Security – Customs & Border Protection for over four years. He had served with the Adams County Sherriff’s Office, Colorado Department of Corrections, Glendale Police Department, and the Transportation Security Administration. Officer Skelton is survived by his wife, parents, and three sisters.
On September 15th, 2021 K-9 Tito, a Belgian Malinois died in his handler’s patrol car after the air conditioning malfunctioned. His handler had left him in the patrol car with the air conditioning on in order to set up training scenarios. When he returned to the patrol car to retrieve Tito he discovered that the air conditioning was blowing hot air into the car. Tito was rushed to a veterinary hospital but his condition deteriorated and he had to be humanely euthanized. This is particularly troubling because devices exist to monitor a vehicle’s interior temperature and will notify the handler if the temperature inside the vehicle increases to an unacceptable level. Toto was four years old.
On September 25th, 2021 Deputy Sheriff Matthew Locke was shot and killed while assisting other officers during a domestic disturbance at a private home. An officer from Clifton Police Department and other deputies contacted the subject who was armed with a firearm. As officers were ordering the man to drop the gun, Deputy Locke approached the home. The man suddenly opened fire, fatally wounding Deputy Locke. The subject fled into a nearby wooded area and was arrested a few hours later by members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. He was charged with first-degree murder. The Officer is survived by his wife and child.
On September 26th, 2021 Nassau County, Florida Sheriff’s Deputy Joshua Moyers was given a false name by the driver during a traffic stop and the Officer learned that the tags of the stopped vehicle belonged to a different automobile. As the Officer opened the driver’s door to take the driver into custody, the subject shot Deputy Moyers in the face and back. The suspect fled the scene over a railroad crossing just as the crossing barricade was coming down and a train passed, blocking other deputies from immediately pursuing him. The subject remains at large as this is written. Deputy Sheriff Moyers was transported to the hospital where he remained on life support until September 26th, 2021 so that his organs could be donated. Even in death S/O Moyers was a hero helping those in need with his organs. Deputy Sheriff Moyers had served with the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office for over six (6) years. He is survived by his fiancée, parents, and brother.
The National Police Defense Foundation is taking an active role in helping to identify and apprehend anyone who shoots or kills a police officer. Under the leadership and guidance of Executive Director Joseph Occhipinti, we offer a ten thousand dollar reward ($10,000) for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone who shoots or kills a member of the law enforcement community. In June of 2020 the NPDF Executive Board took the unprecedented step of expanding the Safe Cop reward program to include rewards for the arrest and conviction of any protestor/domestic terrorist who assaults a public safety officer by using a vehicle or by an act of act of arson.
In my role as the administrator of our very successful Safe Cop Program I am interested in receiving input from our members in both the civilian and law enforcement community. Your tax deductible donations go a long way toward helping us achieve our goal and this quarterly newsletter is designed to keep you abreast of our activity, the sacrifices of law enforcement and to encourage you to get involved in this worthy endeavor. I look forward to hearing from all of our members who have suggestions about how we can be even more effective in achieving our goals. We pray that God protects our law enforcement officers and blesses their families who have sacrificed so much.
Sgt. Mike Barry (ret.)
Port Authority of NY & NJ Police Department