Law Enforcement Pays Tribute To A Fallen BrotherPosted: Updated:
It was a tribute to a fallen brother -- and a thank you for his sacrifice.
"To the Davis family, I thank you for sharing Joel with us," Trooper James Eichhorn said. "We were all better people to know him."
Trooper Davis was remembered as a devoted dad, a hard worker, dedicated to his community, and, yes, a hero.
"Despite knowing the grave risks that he faced, he performed his duty," state police Superintendent George Beach II said. "That is a trooper. That is a hero, that is bravery -- his life was taken because he did what we asked him to do."
Davis' funeral was held Saturday at Magrath Sports Complex on Fort Drum.
He was killed in the line of duty last Sunday night while responding to a domestic dispute at a home near Theresa.
He was allegedly shot and killed by Justin Walters, who's also accused of shooting and killing his wife, Nichole, and injuring another woman on his property.
At the funeral, Father Christopher Carrara, the chaplain for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office -- where Davis used to work -- told his family the loss of Davis' life hits home for everyone.
"Your loss is our loss and our lives are better for having known Joel," he said.
Paying tribute were thousands of law enforcement officers from across the nation and Canada.
Most of the uniformed New York State Police were there and nearly every state was represented.
"And when you're part of law enforcement, you're part of a giant 600,000-person family," said Lonnie Carpenter of the West Virginia state police, "and in times of tragedy they need to know there are more people than they see out there everyday that are supporting them, that care for them, and are mourning with them."
"Our agency always says two troopers to represent whenever a state agency experiences an in-line death," Valerie Verduzzi of the Texas state police said.
"No matter where you are doing this type of job, we're all pretty much the same," said Ottawa City Police Sgt. Steve Boucher, "so no matter where you go across North America we do the same job, we do it with the same purpose and when one of us goes down in the line of duty it affects all of us. "
But it affects Trooper Davis' immediate law enforcement family most deeply, including the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, where he served 10 years.
"Everyone in the law enforcement community knows that it's a dangerous job and we train for it the entirety of our careers," Sheriff Colleen O'Neill said, "and it's still shockingly sad when something like this happens."
As his superintendent said, when things began to go wrong, Joel Davis was the trooper you wanted around.