HAMPTON, N.H. (CBS) – Thousands of police officers came to the wake of Chief Michael Maloney in a moving show of solidarity.
The Greenland Police chief was just eight days from retirement when he was killed in a drug bust Thursday night.
“He’s a true hero and he’s going to be respected as that and I think we’re going to give him one final tribute and salute out of respect for that,” said Chief Rodney Collins of Mashpee, MA.
Maloney’s own officers from Greenland led the procession. Then one by one police officers and law enforcement leaders from all over New England followed.
“When something like this happens it’s a painful reminder of how vulnerable we all are,” said New Hampshire State Police Captain Scott Carr who knew Maloney.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports
Many said they were in awe of Maloney’s final moments when he risked his life to save another officer. Massachusetts State Police Colonel Marian McGovern said he was a police officer until the end of his career.
WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports
“Right up until the very moment,” says McGovern. “This is a man that could have been sitting back in his easy chair, but no he was going to go with his people and get rid of someone who’s probably been a thorn in his side.”
Those who knew Maloney aren’t surprised.
“This type of tragedy would happen days before his retirement shows he would do whatever he needed to get the job done,” said his friend Chief Michael Greeley of Deerfield, New Hampshire.
New Hampshire Governor John Lynch thanked Maloney’s family on behalf of the state. Along the streets, businesses posted signs offering condolences.
The officers in mourning hope the public remembers why Maloney’s sacrifice matters.
“We’re not just out here writing tickets and upsetting people. We do the job to save lives. That’s the kind of person Michael was,” said Greeley.
Meanwhile, some New Hampshire police departments are warning residents to beware of callers asking for donations to help Maloney’s family.
The Merrimack Police Department put out an advisory Tuesday saying an organization is soliciting donations for Maloney’s family. The Nashua Police Department put out a similar advisory Wednesday.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports on the scam
The callers say they’re calling on behalf of the New Hampshire Chiefs of Police when there is no authorized solicitation of donations from any law enforcement organization for Maloney’s family.
The police departments ask that people contact them if they get such a call.