Wareham Police add names to memorial of former members
Throngs of people attended a ceremony the evening of Thursday, Nov. 16, honoring the members of Wareham's Police Department who have passed after their service and in the line of duty.
The service took place at the Wareham Police Memorial, located next to the Multi-Service Center, and marked the addition of seven names to the Memorial.
"When we go to work, it's no guarantee that we're going to come home every night," said Police Chief Walter Correia.
Five former police officers had their names added to the monument: Kenneth Baptiste, Gordon Lopes, Theodore Weygandt, Dennis Damata and Ralph Forni. Two of the department's former canine members joined them: K-9 Cago and K-9 Rolf.
The ceremony served as well to honor the other 46 names on the Memorial, former members of Wareham's police department from its long history.
Correia told the stories of two of those names, picking out the members of the department who fell in the line of duty.
Leaster Chase was struck and killed by a vehicle while directing traffic on September 16, 1932.
Christopher Argentinis was struck by a state police cruiser while engaged in a foot chase at the intersection of Onset Avenue and Depot Street on December 9, 1999.
"We all remember that very, very clearly," said Correia, of Argentinis' death. "That day profoundly impacted the lives of many in public safety, but most, his family."
Correia read the list of names on the memorial, and the crowd present honored them with a moment of silence.
The Wareham Police Department was talking about ways to honor its former members, he added, potentially through the form of a page on the department's website. He encouraged people to share any ideas or information they had.
"I wish I knew all the stories, but I'm just happy that we did this tonight," Correia said.