TED CLAUSEN

SCULPTURE

 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SAFETY MEMORIAL

COMPLETE  TEXTS

 

(on the left hand side of the entrance pillar):

The public safety officers of Montgomery County dedicate their lives to provide for the safety of our lives and property.

(on the right hand side of the entrance pillar):

At times these officers are called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice. Please join us in bearing witness and in paying tribute to their dedication.

(on the large granite circle surrounding the site):

We are all connected- the fire department answers a call, and it’s arson, the police arrest the suspect, the suspect skips bail, the sheriffs find the suspect and bring him to court, and corrections keeps the community safe from the suspect- and this sort of circle happens over and over in our work.

(outside of stone #1):


I thank God the Park officer was there. If she had not been present, I believe there would have been a terrible outcome to this story.
Montgomery county citizen

It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived.
Anonymous citizen

Their children can never forget- nor should we.
Montgomery county citizen

You know that if you call 911 someone will answer, that someone will come. That is very precious.
Montgomery county citizen

(inside of stone #1):


No matter how much they tell us over the radio, you are always walking into the unknown, the potentially very dangerous unknown. If you don’t expect the unexpected, then you are not doing your job.

She is a sister, and a lost part of each of us. I carry that death with me every day. It is part of my uniform.

You are trying to keep any situation from escalating- you never know what may happen, what you may be called on to do or sacrifice- you think it through, quickly.

So much of what we do is hidden. Our presence in the parks alone is often enough to preserve the order the public wants and deserves.

….without any consideration of class, color, creed or condition…..

When we get to the scene of a fire it inspires you- the firefighters teamwork and the dedication- the minute by minute choreography of fighting a moving target…
Montgomery County Park Police officer speaking of County Fire/Rescue


(outside of stone #2):

Before this happened to our family I didn’t understand. But now I think I do understand just how dangerous police work is. They do put their lives on the line.
Montgomery county citizen

It was such a small thing, but the police came anyway. It did make me feel protected. And they treated us with such respect.
Montgomery county citizen

(inside of stone #2):

You rely on your skills, on having done this before, and you have to remember that the people you are helping have probably never been through this- you have to care for them as though this is the first time because for them it is- your service to them has to be real and present.

…RESPECTING INDIVDUAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS…

What we see every day is so different from most citizen’s lives, and thank God for that. Our job is to protect them from those things, and that makes it a kind of world of its own.

A routine patrol that will never be forgotten.

As police officers we may have the first contact with an eventual prisoner, but it’s the officers at corrections who live with them every day, who keep us safe and who try to turn the offenders situation around.
Montgomery County police officer describing the work of corrections officers

You can do everything right at a normal traffic stop and still loose your life.

(outside of stone #3):

You do not realize the dangers the officers face until you see what they are expected to do every day. They are trying to protect- themselves and the inmates and us- at the same time they are hoping to be part of a rehabilitation.
Montgomery county citizen

It was a difficult time for us as a family. We visited often and we kept hoping. . Jail is not what I thought it was, and neither are the people who work there. They are doing their best, and it’s a very tough job.
Montgomery county citizen

(inside of stone #3):

When the inmate realizes that my success- their rehabilitation- is the key to their freedom, that's when I am not only doing my job, I am doing something more.

We do the job that not too many people see, know or think about- you know you could loose your life any second while keeping the public safe from those who have abused our trust.

…it is my duty to conduct myself so that the honor of the department is upheld…

We are an officer guarding them, a counselor, a confessor, a protector…

It’s true-corrections is more dangerous and stressful than people realize. But I think of the sheriffs, and how delivering a paper to someone can be the most dangerous thing you have ever done…
Montgomery County corrections officer speaking about the work of the Sheriffs

We will risk a lot to save a life- we will risk our own lives.

Being present at funerals is important. It establishes our brotherhood and sisterhood, it lets the world know that we are here, that we honor our own, and that we are present and will be vigilant.

(outside of stone #4):

When they served that paper to my son I actually thought for the first time, maybe now we are on the road to some recovery.
Montgomery county citizen

I think we sometimes forget that public safety officers are dealing with us the public on what are often the worst days of our lives. And they have to do it over and over again.
Montgomery county citizen

(inside of stone #4):

When you walk up to that front door- -maybe its not hung right, or you hear a noise that is unusual- it’s always better to back off and to wait. It could be a life or death moment. You have to pay attention to those things or you are not doing your job- protecting yourself, your partner, and the people in the house.

Compassion is a skill: you do learn it, but first you have to want to help, to care. You have to be able to put yourself in another person’s shoes.

His spirit is alive each time I walk into the station to begin my duty.

When we sheriffs arrive at your door we always bring news you don’t want to hear. On the other hand we generally know what we are walking into. The police don’t have that luxury.
Montgomery County Sheriff officer speaking about the county police

….Diligently and faithfully, without partiality or prejudice…

The smallest things make a big difference on any call- your first words, your expressions, the way you move into a room- they can all make the difference between calming a situation or escalating it into a life or death moment.

(outside of stone #5):

I watched them go into that burning house. The bravery and the risk made me proud and worried. I worried how or if they would make it back out.
Montgomery County citizen

I don’t know how they do such a difficult job- its so demanding, and then they are able to show compassion. We may have lost our house, but I think we are fortunate to have these folks putting their lives on the line.
Montgomery County citizen

(inside of stone #5):

It’s my job, I have about 20 seconds to figure out how we are going to fight the fire. 20 seconds. I cant make any mistakes. Your life, the lives of your fellow firefighters and the lives of the people in the building depend on it.

Because the dangers are so real, the first goal of the day is to go home: to go back where I started the same way I left.

…and if need be, lay down my life as others have done before me…

You mourn, you think about what you can do so it doesn’t happen again. You look your station mates in the eyes, and you don’t have to say anything. You go back to your post. That’s how it is. That’s how it has to be.

Our teamwork is the most essential part of our work. Without we would not be doing our job. Without it the rest doesn’t matter.

Imagine trying to fight a fire without the police there to help guide the traffic and inform the public and keep order. We couldn’t do it without them.
Montgomery County fire fighter speaking about the county police.

(on the small granite circle at the center of the site):

...AND IF IN DUTY I MY LIFE MUST GIVE, GRANT THAT BY THE GIVING OTHERS LIVE.

(on the top of the right hand exit pillar):

Service before self

(on the bottom of the left hand exit pillar, on a replaceable plaque):

If you wish to know more about those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and the departments they served, please contact...