I had hoped to make it through March without having to post any more line of duty deaths in the Law Enforcement community but sadly I received notification today of the deaths of two more officers, both of whom died in motor vehicle accidents.
Officer James D. Fezatte of the Millbrook Police Department in Alabama was killed late Saturday night while responding to a report of a civil disturbance when his police vehicle left the road and struck a tree. It had been raining heavily at the time of the accident and police believe that his vehicle hydroplaned and left the roadway. No other vehicles were involved in the accident.
Officer Fezatte's death is the first line of duty death in the history of the Millbrook Police Department which has been operating for 28 years and has 30 law enforcement officers. “This is the first officer that our department has lost in the line of duty since its inception, and it’s going to be hard on all of us,” said Millbrook Police Chief Kenneth Bradley in a newss release. “We will be here to support his family and lean on each other to get through this.”
Officer Fezatte, age 41, had retired from the Air Force where he served as a Security Police Officer before joining the Millbrook Police Department in September of 2007. He leaves behind a wife, two children, and a Department that has lost one of their own.
Border Patrol Agent Jarod Dittman of the United States Department of Homeland Security died at approximately 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning in rural East County, California following a motor vehicle accident en route to his patrol area in Jamul. The single vehicle wreck involving Dittman's department issued Jeep Wrangler was found by another Agent on a curving county highway between Chula Vista and Campo.
Agent Dittman, age 28, was transported to a local emergency department with multiple injuries where he was pronounced dead at about 2:00 a.m. according to Richard Smith, a supervisory agent for the U.S. Border Patrol. Smith said he had no details on the cause of the crash which is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol.
Originally from Centre County, Pennsylvania, Agent Dittman attended Penn State College before serving in the Army National Guard and being deployed to Kosovo for half a year. Moving to California, he lived in San Diego with his wife and young daughter and had been working as a Border Patrol agent for just over a year.
Once again I ask you to please remember these officers and their families in your prayers as I also ask you to pray that no more officers die in the line of duty. I know it's a tall order but wouldn't it be fantastic?