Fallen officers remembered, celebrated on Memorial Day weekend


by Matt Doyle

Menomonee Falls -- Nearly 130 people honored the brave work of police officers Sunday afternoon in Menomonee Falls.

"Every time they walk out you know there's a chance something could happen. Do you dwell on it? No, you would not survive," Barbara Taylor-Hilbert said.

Taylor-Hilbert lives with it every day.  Her husband John wasn't a police officer when they got married.

"He chose that profession three years later - with my support," she explains.

Menomonee Falls Police officer John Taylor died in the line of duty in 1977. 

His patrol car was broadsided by a 17-year-old drunk driver.  

The Menomonee Falls Police Department and neighborhood watch program honored Taylor and other fallen officers Sunday afternoon.

"Just part of his legacy. It's part of not only honoring him and other fallen officers," Taylor-Hilbert said.

"I thought it was absolutely beautiful," Jaymie Winter, who attended the event, said.  "The perfect way to remember the police officers who have fought and died to keep us safe."

It's tough on immediate family, but also tough on fellow officers.

"It's devastating to the department," Jack Pitrof, the former Menomonee Falls Police Chief, said.  "It's very sobering. You're losing a brother, a friend, and it takes a little bit out of everybody."

Jack Pitrof worked with Taylor and says he was a great leader.

"It's important to recognize the dangers that they face every day," Pitrof said.  "And recognize the people that are working now and the dangers they face every night when they go to work."

It's something Taylor-Hilbert advises all families to do - especially those in law enforcement or serving in the military.

"All you can do as a family is let them speak when they need to speak, be there when they come home and enjoy your time together."

The memorial also honored Bayfield County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Parquette who died in 1996 - he was a former Menomonee Falls police officer.


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