Norwalk Police hold memorial ceremony for fallen officers

The Rev. Artie Kassimis closes Wednesday’s Norwalk Police memorial service. (Harold F. Cobin)
Norwalk Police stand at attention during Wednesday’s memorial service. (Harold F. Cobin)

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Police honored their fallen Wednesday in the annual police memorial ceremony.

“It’s been a difficult year plus for us, here at the Norwalk Police Department, and with all that we’ve gone through, it is more important than ever that we never forget those that have given themselves to this community, as well as those we have lost,” Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik said. “It is easy to become complacent and focus on the problems and issues at hand and lose touch with the past, but it so important that we cannot let that happen.”

Video by Harold F. Cobin at end of story

Honored were four Norwalk officers who lost their lives in the line of duty:

  • Sgt. Frank S. Stratton, served Norwalk for 28 years
    • Shortly after 5 a.m. on Oct. 14, 1930, Stratton was on patrol in the area of East Avenue and Westport Avenue when he noticed a suspicious motor vehicle. Stratton, 64, stopped car and discovered that the two men inside, both uniformed Marines, were AWOL and had stolen the car, police say. The two men were taken into custody and as Stratton was leading the suspects to his patrol car he was struck by a speeding motor vehicle, which was traveling westbound on Westport Avenue. His partner, Ofc. Paul McGrath, chased the driver and arrested him.
  • Ofc. Sherrald Gorton, served Norwalk for 12 years
    • Gorton, 37, was working traffic on June 20, 1962 when a dump truck backed up and hit him, police say. This resulted in legislation that requires a beeping mechanism on truck in reverse.
  • Sgt. Nicholas Fera, served Norwalk for 19 years
    • Fera, 45, was shot and killed July 9, 1971 while attempting the arrest of two armed robbery suspects. One of the suspects also died due to the gun battle.
  • Ofc. Marco Carias, served Norwalk for two years
    • Carias, 26, was working undercover in the Statewide Narcotics Task Force and on March 20, 1982 was returning a State patrol car to Troop G headquarters, then in Westport. The vehicle struck a utility pole resulting in multiple and severe injuries to which he would later succumb.
A U.S. flag hangs above Wednesday’s Norwalk Police memorial service. (Harold F. Cobin)

Each of the men left behind families. Mayor Harry Rilling commented that it’s devastating for families to learn that their loved ones had lost their lives in the line of duty.

“This has been a very very challenging year indeed,” Rilling said. “As many people quarantined at home, staying, working from home. didn’t go out, the men and women of the police department …continued to serve, keeping us safe while we slept,  putting their lives in harm’s way, by going to medical calls and other calls where they were exposed to other people may or may not have infected them with the COVID-19.”


One response to “Norwalk Police hold memorial ceremony for fallen officers”

  1. Jeff Tauscher

    Beautiful ceremony and tribute.
    Great videography, Harold!

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