Dozens gather in Augusta to honor and remember fallen officers

AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - An emotional ceremony in Augusta, Thursday. Law enforcement officers from all across Maine gathered to honor their fallen brothers and sisters.

More than 100 officers were killed in the line of duty nationwide last year, one here in Maine.

"Law enforcement officers represent a special group of people in our society who are dedicated to ensuring the peace, safety, and order we all enjoy."

State Street in Augusta closed down for a few hours Thursday to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

"The fallen officers listed on this memorial, every one of them, were dedicated to the law enforcement ethics and upheld their constant duty to protect and serve."

The Maine Law Enforcement Officers memorial includes the names of 86 officers whose lives were lost in the line of duty.

One name was added this year.

Governor Janet Mills said, "Corporal Eugene Cole, Somerset Sheriffs Department of Norridgewock, a town that very much loved him as much as he loved the town. He lost his life protecting the citizens."

Tom Cole, Corporal Eugene Cole's brother said, "They just have so much respect for him because of how he lived his life which was, he should respect people no matter what they may have done."

Family members paying tribute to Corporal Cole through song.

Tom Cole said, "Gene was an aw-shucks kind of guy who would just be like aw-shucks, why are you guys doing this for me? On the Inside, he'd be very proud, he'd be very honored, and glad that people do look at him that way and that the life he lived, it counted."

Next year, Maine State Police Detective Ben Campbell’s name will be etched into the memorial.

Governor Janet Mills said, "Trooper Campbell was a husband, a new father, who like Corporal Cole served with compassion and devotion to protecting the smallest among us."

"Detective Ben Campbell, all the things that I have witnessed personally and professionally, have been absolutely amazing."

"Always remember the thin blue line is very strong and can never be broken."