February 1, 2018

Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial

There are two memorials to law enforcement in Boston; the Boston Police Memorial and the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial.

The Boston Police Memorial is located at the Boston Police Headquarters (1 Schroeder Plaza, Roxbury Crossing, MA.). The Boston Police Memorial commemorates the founding of the police department in 1834, the professional successor to the Boston Watch which protected Boston since the Colonial Days. An eternal-flame illuminated by a blue light reminds visitors that the police department is on duty at all hours of the day or night.

The Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial is located at the Massachusetts State House. The 400-square-foot memorial to all those that lost their lives protecting the citizens of Massachusetts. Next to the Massachusetts State House, on the east side, is the Mass. Law Enforcement Memorial, which is in the shape of a badge and has names carved around it and a blue light.

Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial

Eight Things I Learned about the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial

  • Ground breaking was on Monday, May 20th, 2002.
  • Officially opened on May 21, 2004, with 282 names. 88 officers names have been added in the past 14 years.
  • Chief Paul Doherty and David B. Balfour Sr. did a lot of work to make the memorial happen.
  • Project was funded by the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation. They raised $1 million for the project, some money came from art grants.
  • Memorial was designed by Michael Kenney, a US Postal Service architect. There was a bit of controversy over the design selection process as the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation rushed to get a design so they could qualify for $150,000 grant from the Ingersoll Browne Fund.
  • Opening ceremony featured bicyclists who travel from the National Fallen Officer Memorial in Washington DC.
  • New names are added to the third week of September. When new names are added, they place a red rose over the name on the memorial.
  • Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial Day is celebrated on May 27th. It started on May 27, 1985.

Notable Names

  • Ezekiel W. Hodsdon - First Boston Police officer to be killed in the line of duty ( October 18, 1857)
  • Jonathan Houghton - First Boston Watch Police officer to be killed in the line of duty (December 12, 1825)
  • David Estes - Last Boston Watch officer to be killed in the line of duty (April 27, 1848)

Finding the Memorial

The Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial is located at the Massachusetts State House grounds. Walk down Bowdoin Street at the corner of Ashburton Pl and Bowdoin St you'll see the entrance to the memorial.

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