Community mourns fallen sheriff's deputies

Posted: 11:24 PM, Feb 10, 2016
Updated: 2016-02-11 12:57:31-05

It was an emotional day for the Harford County Sheriff's Office as they begin to mourn the loss of two of their own.

"It’s with great sadness that I tell you both deputies who were shot earlier today have succumbed to their injuries," said Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

The names of those two officers were not released as of Wednesday evening to give the Sheriff's Office time to notify family members and relatives. However, small details given about the fallen officers revealed how much they'll be missed.

"Both two were outstanding deputies who served the citizens of this county faithfully for 16 and 30 years, respectively. I know both of them very well in my prior law enforcement days in a different uniform," said Sheriff Gahler.

Related: Police: 2 injured Harford County deputies have died

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman described the community as tight-knit making the loss of the deputies even more profound.

"It’s just a reminder to all of us that their service is a dangerous job and we’re thankful that we have men like them that can step-up and carry out that job," Glassman said.

Law enforcement agencies close by and across the nation showed their support for the fallen officers. The Baltimore City Police Department stood together outside Shock Trauma where one of the injured officers was flown for treatment. Other police units tweeting their condolences, including the New York City Police Department

Governor Larry Hogan issued a statement of support and ordered flags to be flown half-staff in their honor. County Executive Glassman also requested that the flag of Harford County to be flown half-staff effective immediately.

The Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company draped black ribbon on the front of the Harford County Sheriff's Office to pay their respects.

"The outpouring of support from our fellow law enforcement, both the support emotionally and investigatively, it’s just unmatched and you have to be in law enforcement to understand it, but it’s unmatched and could not be more needed at this time," said Sheriff Gahler.

"We just ask the county to come together as we lift them up and protect their families as we go forward," said County Executive Glassman.

According to the Harford County Sheriff's Office remembrance page, before the incident Wednesday, there were five line of duty deaths since the department was established in 1774. Only one of the five officers died from gunfire in 1899 .

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