SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Tuesday marks seven years since the line-of-duty death of Springfield Police Officer Kevin Ambrose.
A silent salute was held on Tuesday to honor the memory of Ambrose, who was murdered during a domestic call seven-years-ago. Fresh flowers overlooked his name at the memorial to the city’s fallen officers. A police cruiser with blue lights flashing, are part of the protocol to honor the sacrifice of Ambrose.
Ambrose was a 36-year veteran of the Springfield Police Department. He was shot while trying to protect a young woman and her child from her boyfriend, during a domestic disturbance at a Lawton Street apartment on June 4, 2012.
“I remember it like it was yesterday Sy, it’s one of those events, you can tell everyone exactly where you were what you were doing when you heard it, it was like the 9-11 event, I remember getting the phone call,” said Springfield Acting Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood.
Ambrose managed to save the lives of both mother and child but died from his gunshot wound. He left behind a daughter and a son, who is now a Connecticut State Trooper.
Thousands of police officers from all over the country came to Springfield to attend officer Ambrose’s funeral. Ambrose would later be honored by the western Massachusetts Red Cross as a hometown hero, with his family accepting the award during the emotional ceremony.
Acting Commissioner Clapprood wants the public to appreciate the sacrifices of officers like Ambrose.
“I still do not think the public understands the dangerousness of our job on a daily basis,” said Clapprood. “What happened to Kevin came close before, they may not know it, but we’ve gone on calls, domestic calls, traffic stops weapons, knives, we’ve come close.”
It was in the aftermath of the death of Officer Ambrose, as well as that of Westfield Police Officer Jose Torres (who died in the line-of-duty later that year,) that the annual Ride to Remember was established. The annual bike ride from Springfield to Boston honors fallen law enforcement officers.
A shorter, 25-mile bike ride, known as “Light Up the Blue,” will be held this coming Sunday to pay tribute to fallen officers, and raise money for the Springfield Police Department Fallen Officers Memorial.