County Executive Tom Gordon and the New Castle County Police Department paused, Monday morning, to honor the late Lt. Joseph Szczerba on the second anniversary of his death.
The End of Watch ceremony was held at Lt. Joseph L. Szczerba Park in New Castle just blocks away from the Penn Acres location where Szczerba was killed while serving the citizens of New Castle County.
“Today, we pause to remember Lieutenant Joe Szczerba, who made the ultimate sacrifice for the County,” said Gordon, former Colonel of the New Castle County Police Department. “This fallen officer never came home to his family or friends. We all will remember where we were when we heard this terrible news on September 16, 2011.
“Liberty is a precious gift with benefits to all but, too often, we give little thought to those who pay for it,” Gordon added. I had the privilege of hiring Joe on July 11, 1994, when I was Colonel. He stood out amongst all the applicants.”
Gordon was joined by Public Safety Director Joseph Bryant, Jr.; Colonel Elmer Setting, Chief of Police; Delaware Corporal Michael Zielinski, Fraternal Order of Police President, Lodge #5; Lieutenant Pat Crowell; and Lieutenant Colonel Father David Murphy, who gave the opening prayer and benediction.
Setting commended the County Police officers, dignitaries and retired officers who attended Monday’s ceremony for Szczerba.
“People called him a hero,” Setting reflected. “I always said, ‘Joe was a hero every day, long before that fateful night to all of us.”
Sergeant Szczerba was posthumously promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.