Two Maryland police officers recently killed in the line of duty were honored Wednesday with the additions of their names to memorials.
Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta's name was added Wednesday morning to the Public Safety Memorial on Edison Park Drive in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The names of 20 fallen heroes were read aloud and a bell tolled as family members lit candles in their memory.
Leotta died Dec. 10 after a suspected drunk driver crashed into him as he conducted an anti-drunk driving enforcement.
Police Chief Thomas Manger said the 24-year-old officer has a lasting effect.
"Officer Leotta's impact on public safety continues. This is a powerful, powerful legacy," he said.
Leotta's family worked tirelessly to get Maryland lawmakers to pass Noah's Law, which requires ignition interlocks to be installed in the cars of convicted drunk drivers.
"I know he's honored and he's proud, but it's still too great a sacrifice for my family and all the other families that have lost loved ones," Leotta's father, Rich Leotta said.
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Prince George's County Officer 1st Class Jacai Colson's name was added Tuesday night to a memorial in the County Administration Building on Governor Oden Bowie Drive in Upper Marlboro.
Colson was killed March 13 after a man opened fire on police officers and officers returned fire. Colson, 28, was shot by a fellow officer who mistook him for a suspect, police said.
A candle was lit for Colson in a ceremony held to remember the 54 officers that have died in the line of duty since 1932 in the county.
Colson's parents fought back tears during the ceremony and were embraced by officers as his name was added to the memorial.
“He was an outstanding young man and an excellent role model for a lot of youths coming up," the narcotics officer's father said at the viewing of his body.
Law enforcement officers from across the country are paying their respects to fallen officers during National Police Week, which runs from May 3 to 16. For a full schedule of events, see the website for the week.