April 9, 2019
Kory Honea is the Sheriff-Coroner of Butte County, which is in Northern California. He has served in that position since May of 2014. Sheriff Honea began his law enforcement career with the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office in 1990, working on Lake Shasta as a boating safety officer and then as a deputy in the jail. In 1993 he took a position as a deputy sheriff for the Butte County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Honea served as a patrol deputy and detective until 2000, when he transferred to the Butte County District Attorney’s Office as an investigator.
During his tenure at the District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff Hone earned a Juris Doctor and became a member of the State Bar of California. After promoting through the ranks and becoming Chief Investigator at the District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff Honea returned to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office as the Undersheriff in 2010. As the elected Sheriff-Coroner, Sheriff Honea oversees a department that provides law enforcement, coroner, civil, correctional and court security services to the 222,000 residents of Butte County.
In February 2017, Sheriff Honea played a key role in the emergency response to the “Oroville Dam Spillway Crisis,” which resulted in the evacuation of an estimated 180,000 residents of northern California. In November 2018, Sheriff Honea was again called upon to help lead and manage the emergency response to the “Camp Fire,” which to date is the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history.
Sheriff Honea is married to Jennifer Honea, who is a public safety dispatcher. Their daughter Kassidy is a police officer for the Town of Paradise.
Lester Swick of Springfield, NJ is a first-generation police officer who was hired by the Union County (NJ) Police Department in 1983 as a patrolman. He was assigned to the Detective Bureau and became a member of the Tactical Team. He then became Certified Weigh Master and was founding member of the Traffic Enforcement Unit. He was a member of Motorcycle Patrol and a Search & Rescue scuba diver. Additionally, he received 20 citations for guns and narcotic arrests.
In 1987, he was hired by Union County (NJ) Prosecutor’s Office. Throughout his career at UCPO, he was assigned to Grand Jury/Trial Unit, Homicide, Narcotics, Intelligence Unit and was an instructor at The Union County Policy Academy. He worked undercover and in 1999, was recognized as Union County Narcotics Officer of the Year. On the federal level, he was assigned to FBI Task Force, DEA and was Commander of HIDTA.
In 2000, he had a proud moment as his father Don held the bible, and his mother Betty looked on, as he was promoted to Sergeant. As Sergeant, he oversaw numerous successful wiretaps, money-laundering and state & federal drug investigations. In 2004, his wife Teri proudly held the bible as he was promoted to Lieutenant. He became Commander of the Guns, Gangs & Drugs Task Force and at one point was also Commander of the Auto Theft Task Force. In 2009, his case was profiled on America’s Most Wanted.
Upon his retirement in 2013, after a 30-year career, he was honored for his service from the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and DEA.
Although he is proud of his distinguished career, he is most proud of his three children, Danielle, Cassie and Brian and the fact that he was able to be a hands-on dad and was either coaching or in the audience throughout their memory-making moments. He is also honored that Brian has followed in his footsteps and has chosen a career in law enforcement.
In his retirement, he has enjoyed varied part-time work, being a private detective and most of all spending time with his grandchildren, Zach and Grace and is hopeful for more grandchildren to come.
Our names are Donna Francolino, Katie Francolino, and Kristea Francolino – the very proud wife and daughters of Officer Thomas J. Francolino (ret.). Tom Francolino was a Patrolman of the Wallingford Police Department in Wallingford, Connecticut from November 1980 to December 1994. Some of the qualities which made Tom Francolino an outstanding law enforcement officer were his commitment to the job, and constant pursuit of the truth and justice. With a nickname of “Officer Friendly” he embodied all that is good about peace officers, building many positive relationships within his community. He is special to us for many reasons. Not only did he dedicate years of his life to this profession, but he was extremely devoted to his family throughout his tenure as a police officer.
Due to an injury which occurred in the line of duty, Tom honorably retired after 14 years of faithful service. Since his retirement, he has become a member of the New Haven Police Centurions and the New Haven Police Emerald Society and Color Guard. Tom continues to serve his community in a different capacity, currently employed at a middle school working with students on a daily basis and making a meaningful impact on each child’s life. He also spends his time as a high school football coach and middle school basketball coach, empowering all of his athletes to make the right choices both on and off the field.
We want Officer Thomas J. Francolino (ret.) to be remembered in this Museum for his dedication to the profession while employed as a police officer; and for his unwavering support of his brothers and sisters in the line of duty as a retired police officer.
Working as a law enforcement officer, I devote my life to the community I serve. I believe law enforcement is a unique profession that few people will ever experience. Be safe and watch your six.
March 26, 2019
Hello, my name is Robin Shepherd-Ryan, a sergeant for the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Florida. I am a veteran of sixteen years. I am also a proud member of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard for twelve years. I am here to honor and memorialize Deputy Michael David Ryan.
A deputy with the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Michael was a veteran of thirteen years ten months who exhibited great strength and commitment. Michael was working when he collapsed outside the Main Jail. He passed away on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2017. Michael was described as a “Gentle Giant” by his peers. He took great pride in working for the Broward Sheriff’s Office, where he received Letters of Commendation as well as the Life Saver Award.
More importantly, Michael was the love of my life, my best friend, and my family for thirty years. Sixteen of those years we were married. Thirteen years and ten months spent as co-workers with the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
I knew Michael to be strong, powerful, funny. I also knew him to be kind, humble, mild-mannered, unassuming, motivating. He was my Superman, always there when I needed him.
Michael loved Powerlifting. Lifting with his closest friends, training for and competing in competitions made him feel like he was an eagle, with his arms stretched out soaring high in the sky and nothing could stop him.
Kindness, he always made a point to extend a kind and respectful word to everyone. Michael’s kindness was remarkable; he would give someone in need the shirt off his back, literally. The first time it happened I noticed that he wasn’t wearing button down, only the undershirt. So, of course, I ask him where his shirt was. He responded, “Well there was this guy who said he had a job interview and didn’t have the right shirt, so I gave him mine.” After the second time, he came home missing a piece of clothing I stopped asking where his clothes were and began asking if we needed to go to the store and buy more.
He had a couple of motivational mottos. One was, “If you’re going to be a bear, be a grizzly.” Meaning, be the biggest, badest, and best that you can be. The second one, “You return the way you left.” I learned that one literally. It was my first long distance bike ride. From home in Hollywood to South Beach. I told him my plan, and he said, “Wow, that’s far, you think you’re ready?” I said yep, ready. The next morning, I started my ride early in the morning before the sunrise taking A1A all the way to South Pointe Park. It took me about 2 hours 30 minutes to get there. Then I called him and told him I made it, 20 miles! After the high fives over the phone, I said to him I don’t know how I’m going to make it back; I’m exhausted. His response was, “you know the motto in our house.” I said yes, “You return the way you left.”
It wasn’t pretty, but approximately 3 ½ hours later I made it home, a total of 40 miles (long for a beginner). He was waiting inside and said, “I knew you could do it”! I was exhausted, but I knew at that moment how he felt with his powerlifting and soaring sky high like an eagle. I also knew how much he believed in me and that meant everything.
Michael was, is, and will also be my family, my best friend, and the love of my life.
I owe all that I am to Michael. I wouldn’t be who I am, or where I am, or what I am today without him.
I will be forever grateful to have had Michael in my life for 30 years.
Michael always made me laugh. He was loyal and a never-failing confidant. All I have accomplished in my life is because Michael was my “Rock.”
Michael and I will be forever linked in true love and friendship on the Thin Blue Line Observation Bridge.
March 14, 2019
Hello, my name is Edward J. Akins; at the age of 25 I began my career in Law Enforcement as a Correctional Officer for the State of New Jersey. After completing the State Academy in Seagirt, New Jersey, I was stationed at Northern State Prison in Newark.
After two years with the Corrections Department, I was offered a position with the Paterson Police Department. Grateful for this new opportunity, I accepted and went back to the Police Academy for a second time. I successfully completed the Bergen County Police Training academy and upon completion began my new position as a Patrol Officer with Paterson.
My father, (Edward M. Akins, Jr.) was the first in my family to become involved with Law Enforcement. After volunteering as a class #1 special officer he went on to be a Correctional Officer followed by a Patrol Officer for the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department. He is about to complete his 23rd year and is now the rank of Captain.
My Brother, (Edward M. Akins III) is also a Paterson Police Officer. The two of us had the unique opportunity of attending the Police Academy together. We sat side by side throughout the entire process, supporting each other on that journey till the day we graduated.
My sister (Meagan Akins) is a Totowa Police Officer and the first female officer in the history of the borough. Before Totowa, she volunteered in Haledon as both a class #1 and class #2 special officer.
Today, all Four of us continue to work for our departments striving to excel every day. It is an absolute honor to serve my community with my family by my side.
March 1, 2019
Hi, my name is John Plevell, I started in law enforcement on October 15, 1978. During this time frame, I worked for two small police departments. In April of 1979 I was involved in a pursuit in which I was injured, four others were hurt, and one died. After being hired by Citrus County I spent two years on the road, at that point I had the option of SWAT or CID, to me CID seemed more appealing. In 1986 I became a Daddy (Kristen). I got remarried to a lady (Diana) who worked CSI.
After working CID and receiving 100% Clearance Rate Blue Ribbon Award, some of my career assignments were robbery, theft, fraud, career criminal, pawn shops, special investigation, gangs and homicide. Some highlights of my career: seizing 780 lbs marijuana, seizing a Cessna airplane and a Mercedes Benz, arrest ref counterfeit Rolex watches, shutting down internet casino cafes. I was involved in working Florida’s first female serial killer who was arrested convicted and put to death in in Florida death row.
I had the occasion to be on the ID Channel on cable to show two cases that we investigated. One was a death penalty case on Swamp Murders called Wrong Turn. The second case was also on Swamp Murders, called Preacher. I also initiated Crime Stoppers in our county during my career. I assisted on working approximately 30 cases of death investigations including four death penalty cases.
I attended the FBI National Academy class of 166, retired in October 2010.
I also donated my millennium badge and a set of cold case playing cards to the Museum. I’m enjoying homes in Daytona Beach, Tennessee mountains, lake house in Floral City and Dunnellon. Diana and I have been married for 22 years – several kids and great grand kids.
February 21, 2019
The daily ritual of holstering a firearm, pinning on a badge, and stepping out the front door into a world of unknowns to go to work was my life for thirty-five years. The weapons changed, the badges changed, the uniforms even changed, but the commitment to serve and protect the citizens of this country from “all enemies, foreign and domestic” never wavered. It has been said that “time changes all things”. In law enforcement that statement is true as it relates to changes in the law, investigative priorities, technology, and the morality of our society. However, I believe that some things never change. Evil and good are universal forces locked in a never-ending battle for the hearts and minds of men. The ramifications of that struggle ensure job security for LEO’s in perpetuity.
My story is not unique in the over all scope of law enforcement. I was fortunate to tread a well-worn path that was illuminated by the lives of good men and women that came before me, walked along side me, and mentored me. I hope that in some small way I have repaid their efforts by passing on some of those life lessons, to a future generation of police officers, FBI Special Agents, and Sheriff’s Deputies.
One of the seminal moments in my early life occurred at Queen Anne Jr/Sr. High School in Seattle, WA. I was sitting in class and it was career day. We didn’t have movies, or DVD’s in those days -we had pamphlets that described a career and had a black and white picture of someone in the career field. Spread out before me on my desk were three pamphlets, “Becoming a Military Officer”, “A Career as an Airline Pilot”, and “FBI Special Agent”. I was reading the FBI agent pamphlet when the classroom phone rang and our teacher took the call and then left the room. Several moments later she returned with tears streaming down her face. She was unable to speak and then blurted out “The President has been assassinated in Dallas Texas”. The day was November 22, 1963. I sat in my chair stunned with the news; silence permeated the classroom as we were left alone with our thoughts. I began to wonder “what if I become an FBI agent, could I ever help keep something like this from happening again.
Congratulations from FBI SAC Jim Freeman for a job well done.
Over my career I saw two types of officers and special agents-warriors and worriers. Warriors are proactive, selfless, and eager to step into harms way to do the right thing. Worriers are paralyzed by analysis wondering “how will this effect my career?” The best leaders I worked with were “servant leaders”. They cared for their subordinates and put their wellfare first. Servant leaders accept blame and give praise.
My best prank? We typed up and circulated a transfer memo on the Chief of Police’s personal stationary. The memo was distributed department wide on a Friday afternoon announcing the immediate transfer of six Lieutenants to new assignments. The memo was read at roll call over the weekend and became gospel! Monday morning saw the lieutenants and two Captains sitting in the COP office embittered, fired up and wanting an explanation. When they realized thay had been pranked they did not handle it well at all!
Proudest moments in my career were pinning badges on both my sons Chris and Brian when they graduated from their respective police academies. Also, watching five young boys in our neighborhood grow up and have successful careers in LE.
One of the principals that I authenticated in my career is that it is an honor to serve along side men and women who are willing to step into harms way. It is a sacred trust to represent those who have worn the badge before you. Never tarnish the badge by your conduct. Your personal integrity is your strongest armor. No one can take it from you, only you can take it off.
Passing the torch to the next generation of LEO’s is your calling. Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, “Here am I. Send me”. Isaiah 6:8
February 14, 2019
Detective Michael Hinrichs, grandson of a NYPD Detective, was appointed to the NYPD in July of 1984. After serving as a uniformed patrol officer and then as a plain-clothes Anti-crime officer in Brooklyn’s 67th precinct, he was promoted to Detective in 1994. He was later transferred to the Brooklyn South Homicide Squad where he remained for the next 16+ years, solving many high-profile cases. While he was assigned to the Homicide Squad, he was promoted to Detective First Grade, the highest rank for NYPD Detectives. Detective Hinrichs was one of the most decorated police officers in NYPD history, receiving over 200 awards, medals and citations, including the NYPD Combat Cross (twice), and the Medal of Valor (twice).
Detective Hinrichs retired in 2014, after suffering a stroke. Upon his recovery, he continues to serve the NYPD as a volunteer Peer Support Officer and Trauma Counselor.
On a personal note, being selected to represent the NYPD during the dedication of the Law Enforcement Memorial in 1991, was a truly proud and humbling moment. During my 30+ year career, including several years as a Homicide Detective and especially during and after the 911 Terror attacks, I had the pleasure of meeting and working with police officers from all over our great country. Along with my NYPD family, the men and women that I have met in law enforcement, from towns and cities big and small, were some of the most honest, loyal, dedicated, and brave people you could ever know. It is an honor and privilege to be included in this museum with so many special people.
“LEST WE FORGET”
Sometimes in life we start down a path with eyes wide open yet have no clue that we are completely blind. It isn’t until later, when looking back, that your jaw drops and you realize the path you’d taken.
I grew up as a poor kid living in the middle of nowhere. My dad had been an officer since I was five and it just felt normal to me. In the summer when school was out, I’d go with him to court to sit and watch the trials. I’d even ride along on patrol sometimes for fun. Yes, I was too young, but it was a different time.
I became a dispatcher for the sheriff’s office at age 16 while still in high school. Yes, too young. Turned out I was pretty good at it. I went to the Police Academy at the age of 19. Too young. I graduated at 20 and became a police officer. At 21 they were crazy enough to make me a sergeant. At 22 I took the helm as chief of police. Again, I was too young, but it was a different time and a very small-town department. As far as I know, I was the youngest police chief in the nation.
After a few years I got sick of small town politics (town board members- you can’t arrest him… he’s my family…you need to tear up that ticket because they said they weren’t going that fast…go borrow a drug dog so we can go door to door looking for drugs at that apartment complex… buy me a badge it’s okay.. YES, REALLY). I threw my uniform on the doorstep of a commissioner and quit. I stayed sworn with the sheriff but completed an AAS degree in EMS (paramedic), a BS in hospital administration, of all things, and an MBA with a human resources concentration. I did one semester of law school and headed home unhappy.
Most of my career in law enforcement was part-time or reserve while I worked “real” jobs with good pay. I taught at a few colleges. I managed EMS agencies. I ran a hospital emergency room. I hopped around for a few years playing here and there doing everything imaginable. Suddenly, after a tough spell in a job I found myself unemployed and had to soul search for where I belonged. It went right back to law enforcement. After a year working the jail I moved to patrol as the only rookie officer with over 20 years of experience!
After some years I transferred to be a school resource officer at a minority middle school where the kids came from a scary world that I had never experienced. Instead of making me tougher or difficult, they touched my soul and I was never the same again. I taught DARE in an elementary school. KIDS MADE IT THE BEST JOB EVER! By then I was patient, had found some common sense, and could look beyond the badge to just help the kids regardless of their struggle. I was more of a social worker, mentor, teacher, chocolate store, and parent than a cop. I am still in touch with many of those kids because they really are “mine.”
In my 40s I learned what an officer really is and can be. I learned the positive impact that can be made when you truly care and see the big picture. I also learned the impact of others who did not see things that way. Those kids taught me more about life in 3 years than 40 years of life had. One day when a new sheriff took the oath new orders dropped. A sergeant badge got pinned on my chest (two decades after my last sgt badge) and I was transferred into the office as the Public Relations & Information Officer. I love showing and telling the world what real, caring law enforcement is about. I love showing the community just how much we really do care and explaining the law enforcement world in ways that no one but us could understand. I’ve become addicted to Facebook and get paid to play there every day. I’m proud of where I am in life and work. I’m proud to have had an odd path getting here and how it shaped me. Only 6-7 more years until retirement. I don’t know what awaits me in those remaining years or what is coming when the gun belt drops for the last time. My days will still be spent loving people and serving people though. I’ll still be learning about people and life. 10-42
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