Lt. Donald A. Bezenah, commander of the Sheriff's Marine Patrol, was the only member
of the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department fatally injured in the line of duty.
On August 31, 1990 - Labor Day Weekend - Lt. Bezenah was on routine marine patrol,
when he responded to a call for assistance from the crew of a neighboring Macomb
County patrol boat, chasing a boater wanted for reckless/intoxicated operation and
fleeing/eluding lawful arrest. In the course of the incident the suspect vessel
intentionally struck Lt. Bezenah's patrol boat, killing him instantly. The suspect
in his badly damaged vessel fled the scene, but was apprehended shortly thereafter
by deputies from Macomb County and officers of the United States Coast Guard. He
was tried and convicted of murder in the 2nd degree and received a sentence of 20
to 40 years in the State Correctional System.
Many other officers have given their lives in the performance of their duties. They
protected and served their communities and paid the ultimate sacrifice. May they
be remembered always in our hearts and minds. The following sites have been devoted
to our fallen heroes:
The Final Inspection
The policeman stood and faced his God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining
Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, policman.
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My church have you been true?"
The policeman squared his shoulders and said,
"No Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry badges
Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was rough.
And sometimes I've been violent
Because the streets are tough.
But I never took a penny
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fear.
If You've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't......I'll understand."
There was silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod,
As the policeman waited quietly
For the judgement of his God.
"Step forward now, policeman.
You've borne your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on Heaven's streets.
You've done your time in hell."