Law enforcement honored at annual police memorial service

Photo by Amy Cherry – Police officers from the City of St. Marys and the Elk County Sheriff’s Office process into the annual Police Memorial Service. The memorial service or Blue Mass takes place every year in St. Marys to honor fallen officers.Photo by Amy Cherry – Shown are three area police officers who died in the line of duty. They include Officer Carl Whippo, Johnsonburg Borough Police Department, 1984; Sgt. David Distrola, Bradford City Police Department, 1986; and Officer Steve Jerman, Kane Borough Police Department, 1999.
By: 
Amy Cherry
Staff Writer

Law enforcement personnel from throughout the area gathered together Tuesday morning for a Police Officer Memorial Service.
The memorial service falls in line with the annual Blue Mass offered in honor of National Police Week recognized from May 13-19. A Blue Mass has been observed in the area since 1985 in conjunction with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Bucktail Lodge 96.
This year’s event took place at the First Agape Assembly of God in St. Marys.
Among the law enforcement agencies represented at the memorial service were those from St. Marys, Ridgway, Johnsonburg, the Elk County Sheriff’s Department and the Pennsylvania State Police. Also in attendance were representatives from the District Attorney’s Office and the Elk County Commissioners.
The memorial service began with a procession led by Paul Fehrenbach performing on the bagpipes. Several officers followed including two flag bearers.
A blessing was offered from the FOP chaplain. The local FOP covers the areas of Elk, Cameron, McKean and Potter counties.
A wreath was placed near the memoriam honoring the area’s three fallen police officers: Officer Carl Whippo, Johnsonburg Borough Police Department, 1984; Sgt. David Distrola, Bradford City Police Department, 1986; and Officer Steve Jerman, Kane Borough Police Department, 1999.

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