2013-06-19 / Front Page

Local family escorted through National Police Week

by Jazz Clark


Laura Talbert (left) lights a candle in memory of her father, William Talbert, who died from injuries sustained in the line of duty. Her son Jonathan wears his grandfather’s police cap. Laura Talbert (left) lights a candle in memory of her father, William Talbert, who died from injuries sustained in the line of duty. Her son Jonathan wears his grandfather’s police cap. William Dewitt Talbert was a policeman who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country, and recently his surviving family honored his memory in Washington, D.C. at National Police Week.

With his name forever immortalized on the Law Enforcement Monument, surviving widow Judy Talbert was “overwhelmed” by the events from May 11-16.

“When I saw his name added to the wall, I fell to my knees and couldn’t get back up,” said Talbert. “It was a very emotional and beautiful ceremony.”

In 1962, May 15 was designated Peace Officer’s Memorial Day, and the week in which the holiday falls became Police Week.

Police officers from all corners of the world flooded the U.S. Capitol, while the Talbert family visited the Capitol building and were given special treatment by police escort.


Laura Talbert (left) and mother Judy Talbert (right) met with “Law and Order” TV personality Vince D’Onofrio at National Police Week in Washington, D.C. 
photos courtesy of Laura Talbert Laura Talbert (left) and mother Judy Talbert (right) met with “Law and Order” TV personality Vince D’Onofrio at National Police Week in Washington, D.C. photos courtesy of Laura Talbert Judy Talbert even had the chance to hug U.S. President Barack Obama with other surviving families of fallen police officers.

Celebrity actor Vince D’Onofrio of TV show “Law and Order” was also on hand to honor the memories of fallen officers.

Judy Talbert was accompanied by family and police friends throughout the events of the week.

Paul Sterling, who was Will Talbert’s partner on the police force, attended in his honor, as well as Judy’s three sons, David, Greg, and Will, and daughter Laura, along with their spouses and children.

At the ceremony, she said there were lit candles as far as the eye could see, and the “thin blue line” which signifies law enforcement shone straight into the sky.


Masses of Police Officers clustered in D.C. during National Police Week, saluting one another and flying flags to honor fallen comrades. 
photo courtesy of Laura Talbert Masses of Police Officers clustered in D.C. during National Police Week, saluting one another and flying flags to honor fallen comrades. photo courtesy of Laura Talbert The late Will Talbert was an officer in Montgomery County, Md., for 13 years before he was struck by a drunk driver during a traffic stop in June 1983.

He was crushed from the kidney down to the knee, and was forced to retire. Talbert and his family moved to Morgan County shortly after.

He was never supposed to walk again, but he walked on crutches out of that hospital “just to prove them wrong,” said his wife.

The 20 plus years between his accident and eventual passing in 2012 were filled with no shortage of obstacles, but it wasn’t the car which took him in the end.

After the accident, Talbert received blood transfusions for the blood loss common in being struck by a vehicle, having no idea the blood was tainted with Hepatitis C.

“He suffered a very long time, this is true,” said Judy Talbert. “But even if the times were tough, we had time together, and that’s better than no time at all.”

The Talbert household received over 400 cards of sympathy after his passing, which Judy Talbert has saved along with all his medals and commendations and letters from politicians.

“Will was always a cop, even after he retired,” said Judy Talbert. “He was the kind of man who saw other people running from danger, and strapped on a bullet-proof vest and ran towards the danger.”

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