In 1962, President Kennedy designated May 15th as Peace Officer Memorial Day. This week, we remember those law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. This week I would like to honor and remember Trooper Mark Cosslett of the Virginia State Police. In the fall of 2002, two idiots with a rifle were sniping citizens in Virginia, DC, and Maryland. Mark had been part of law enforcement’s efforts to locate the two criminals shooting innocent people randomly. The “so called snipers” had been arrested early on the morning of October 23, 2002. But people were still unsure if it was them. On October 23, 2002, Mark heard a police radio call go out for shots fired in Lorton, Virginia and he responded on his motorcycle. He was struck and killed when a tow truck veered into his path and struck him while responding to the shots fired call. Mark had served in the US Marine Corps, served the citizens of Virginia for 16 years as a trooper, a motorman, the Bureau of Criminal Investigations and undercover dealing with narcotics.
Mark was one of the best officers in the US at drug interdiction. It was because of his unique skills at detecting drugs and hidden compartments in vehicles that I brought Mark on the road to share his expertise and experiences with other law enforcement officers. We traveled the country teaching law enforcement officers and Customs Inspectors how to become better at drug interdiction and staying safe.
Mark was always giving, had the warmest smile and a great sense of humor. But most of all he loved his wife and two children more than anything. He was always talking about his family and their importance in his life. I thank God for the opportunity to have spent a little time with such a great friend and role model.
This week everyone should offer his or her thanks and appreciation to those who serve in law enforcement. Too many members of the law enforcement community have sacrificed and paid the ultimate price for our safety. These men and women keep us all safe and we owe them so much. If you have time this week visit the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Judiciary Square in Washington, DC or just thank a member of your local law enforcement community. Mark Cosslett and all those who have their names etched on the National Law Enforcement Memorial are all truly heroes and should be remembered as such.