Detective Jerry McCarthy Memorial

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Lawrence County Detective and Shenango Police Officer
William J. McCarthy IV
End of Watch May 2, 2013

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On May 2, 2013, Lawrence County Detective and Shenango Police Officer William J. “Jerry” McCarthy IV made the ultimate sacrifice while in the performance of his duties to the people of Lawrence County. Lawrence County gathered a few days after the tragedy to honor Jerry, who was a husband, a brother, a father, a son, a grandfather, a friend and an officer who gave all. He was honored as a hero who gave his life in the line of duty. Jerry was a hero, not only because of how he died but because of how he lived. If one knew nothing else of Jerry McCarthy, the fact that every man and women whom he ever served with loved him, than that would say all one ever needed to know about his character, his courage and his heart. Detective McCarthy was proud to be a police officer; a man more concerned with making the lives of everyone he came into contact with a little bit better; and a man who lived and loved with every bit of his heart and soul. Those who knew him were fortunate to be able to say that they knew Jerry and he was a friend.

On that tragic day in May 2013, the Attorneys, Staff and Detectives in the Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office and the Officers of the Shenango Police Department lost some of their luster; the light that blazed from the heart of our departments, that beacon of loyalty and friendship was gone forever. It may be cliché to say that he was one of a kind, but we have yet to meet another that made everyone around him a better person and officer by just being there.

For the officers of Lawrence County we have lost a living example of what is meant by the police motto – to protect and serve. Jerry was the consummate professional and an example of compassionate policing. And for all the men and women of this Country who wear the badge in service, our thin blue line has been made thinner.
Let us not forget that Jerry is not the only one who made a sacrifice. He is now in a better place, but his wife, his mother and father, his sister, his 3 sons and two daughters, and his grandchildren have been left behind to carry on and find some meaning in this tragedy.

We are all cognizant of the fact that words are of cold comfort in the face of a tragedy and that no speech, no flag, no ceremony can bring a lost loved one back to us. They can’t ease the pain of old wounds or sooth the burns of regret. Yet, just as we were always with him, know that he will always be with us … wherever we may go.

150 years ago, President Lincoln wrote to a grieving mother who lost her sons in the cause of liberty and peace. He said, “I pray that our heavenly Father may ease the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.” We cannot ever thank you enough Jerry for all that you sacrificed for each one of us.
Goodbye friend, and in your own words, “God Bless You Little Brother.”


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