Officer Dennis McNamara Badge #121
Shortly after overnight roll call on Wednesday, January 30, 2002, the 4th Platoon of the Upper Darby Township Police Patrol Division started its shift in a terrible mix of rain and snow. Officer Dennis McNamara, badge #121, a 10-year veteran, was assigned car 79-21. Less than 15 minutes into his tour, Dennis was investigating a parked and occupied suspicious vehicle on the 6700 block of Perry Avenue in the Cardington Section of the Township. As it turns out, Dennis was unaware that he was investigating a career-criminal that was heavily armed and had sworn that he would kill to prevent going back to jail.
While the details of how Dennis died have often been discussed, what is sometimes lost in the conversation is how Dennis lived. He was hopelessly devoted to his wife Diane, his children, Melissa and Spike, his community, his country, and his profession. Now absent from the police department is a man who was a great friend, co-worker, and example for others. Dennis is sorely missed and will always be remembered. Shortly before he died, Dennis McNamara, the poet, began a new writing. Its title is a vivid description of what many of us felt at the time. He never had a chance to finish it, but it is uniquely his.
My world began to move slower today, I don’t know
When I lost it: my expertise on life.
I don’t know when I lost touch with your soul.
Everything moves too slowly now.
I once thought our consciousness could live looking down
On the trees, the mountains, the streams…