The Voorhees Police Department in New Jersey but only 15 minutes out of Philadelphia dedicated its 3rd Annual Junior Police Academy to our fallen hero, Houston Police Officer Richard K. Martin.
The story about how this great honor came to pass began during Police Week in May when Voorhees Lt. William D. Walsh met Martin’s son Tyler during ceremonies honoring fallen officers in Washington, D. C.
Walsh made a case, requested and received permission to dedicate the junior academy to Officer Martin. In that request, Walsh pointed out:
“Our Department is running its third Junior Police Academy this year. Last year we dedicated the program to a fallen officer for the first time, which was to Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco.
“This year we would like to dedicate the Junior Academy to Officer Richard K. Martin.”
Walsh learned the details of Martin’s line of duty death from Tyler as well as some of the many Houston officers present for the Police Week ceremonies.
The junior police academy attracts young people between the ages of 12 and 17 who have an interest in becoming police officers. It lasts five days and entails versions of each educational and training aspect of a real police academy, including physical fitness exercises.
Each of the young cadets learned the details of Officer Martin’s brave actions that resulted in his death on May 18, 2015.
Walsh told the Badge & Gun that the latest academy graduated on July 22. He said Tyler and his mother, Kim, were aware of the dedication plan but were unable to attend the graduation ceremony.
So the Voorhees PD did the next best thing: It landed Tyler and Kim a free trip to meet with the graduates in a special reunion, which also included the parents of these junior police officers.
“One of the most exciting events was taking Tyler to a Phillies game and actually getting him down on the field with the players,” Lt. Walsh said.
Walsh said the department followed through with its tradition of creating a junior academy flag featuring the name of the fallen officer to whose honor and memory they dedicate their class. Each class member signed the flag and the Voorhees PD sent it to Acting Police Chief Martha Montalvo.
“We are a 50-sworn-officer Department in Camden County, New Jersey just 15 minutes east of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,” Walsh said.