Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Trooper James A. "Drew" Griffith

Maine State Police, Maine

End of Watch Monday, April 15, 1996

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Trooper James A. "Drew" Griffith

I just read the story your wife wrote about you in the newspaper.
Thank you for your service, and may God be with you and your family.

Suzuki Nathie

January 31, 2019

You came up in conversation today Drew, in Wisconsin of all places. I was talking to a Wisconsin Warden who recently heard Kate speak at a training conference. When I told him I knew you and had worked with you, he was a little surprised. I got to tell him about you and your impact on my career as a young officer. You were a good Trooper and I am glad to say I was influenced by your service. Thanks again. God's speed sir.

Lieutenant John C. Moore
Wisconsin State Conservation Warden

October 30, 2018

I worked for the Knox County Correctional Facility a lot of years. I knew Drew and Rock quite well. He would frequent our facility with “ The Rock”. He was a awesome person and Trooper. It was a big loss to our area.

Sergeant
Friend

March 25, 2018

Just listened to your wife tell a story on The Moth Radio Hour. She is an incredible story teller who very effectively delivered a powerful message about grieving families and the amazing ability we all share that allows us to cope with these traumatic events in our lives. Police academies across the country would be well served to include her story during their death notification segment of training.

A Sergeant
Minnesota State Patrol

April 10, 2017

Drew, you are remembered today and every day.
Thank you for your sacrifice. I feel like I've been able to get to know you a bit through Kate's books; she seems to be a fantastic, strong woman who has made the best of a terrible tragedy and I love the fact that twenty years later, she is in a way, living out your dream.
Sounds like you should be very proud of the entire family you created together, and I know that they are all proud of you.
Rest in peace!

Charles C. Black II
Son of fallen Maine State Trooper Charles C. Black (EOW 7/9/1964)

April 15, 2016

Twenty years ago today, time has gone by so quickly. It seems like only yesterday when you assisted with a call at a Bible Revival on the waterfront in Rockland. I remember running by your cruiser as you pulled an unruly man over the fence and to the ground and all I could think as I ran by your cruiser if Rock was going to jump out and grab me. I also remember hearing of your untimely death April 15, 1996. What a sad gray day in a lot of people’s hearts that day, although it was bright and sunny outside. I believe Drew would be very proud of his family as they grow and venture on with their lives. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family and the entire brother and sister family in blue that are missing you especially on this day… God did answer Kate’s prayers when she asked him to take care of her “Drew”. God Bless Drew’s family… REST IN PEACE BROTHER, LEST WE FORGET.

~ Semper Aequus

Det. Terry Michaud
Lincoln County Sheriff's Office

April 15, 2016

Awww, your comments make me tear up and smile at the same time. Thank you everyone. This month, it will be twenty years since Drew died. I still miss him and love him, feel lucky to have been his wife and to be the mother of his children, and I am very honored to continue to live and work among you, my brothers and sisters, as a member of the law enforcement family. Drew would be proud of all of you.

Kate Braestrup, widow of Trooper James A
and chaplain to the Maine Warden Service

April 9, 2016

Dear Drew,
It is hard to believe that it has been almost 20 years since you passed tragically on the job. I still remember the night that I heard that you got killed. I had met you not long after you came on the job in the old State Police Garage in Augusta. You had heard of me back when you were on the US Capitol Police in Washington, DC and knew that I had joined the Maine State Police. You subsequently joined the Maine State Police and did an outstanding job as a Trooper in Troop D and went on to become a MSP K-9 Handler. I attended your wake and funeral to honor a brother Trooper and be there for your Family. It was as great a sendoff as best as it could be. We missed you on the MSP. You have a lot to be proud of as your family is strong and true. Your four children have all grown up to be very good citizens and your wife, Kate brought them up well. She went on to be an Author and a Maine Warden Service Chaplain to serve and give even more as you did. You will never be forgotten Brother and the great example you set will live on for generations. Thank you for your Service and your Supreme Sacrifice. Rest in Peace Brother.

Trooper Richard Maguire
Maine State Police

December 28, 2015

Today your Dad came to see you. I have a very big sadness but I am hopeful you were were there to greet him. I will miss you both until I see you both again.
:-(
My son Andrew is here with me and he speaks of you and he will know you well through my memories of you and he hill always know his "Ralphie".
Bless you BOTH.

SMSgt David "Chip" Forward
Bro

July 22, 2015

I 'accidently' found Kate's book just this past Thursday, 4/12 in our church library. While sitting through choir practice with my husband (he sings, I don't)I picked this book off the shelf, knowing nothing about Kate or her story. Since then I have read the book twice and am on my 3rd time. It is a magnificent book, tellinsuch a good story, extremely touching. Then just awhile ago I found the notice about Little Drew. Unbelievable. I can't stop crying.
My love to all of the family, amid your surrows.....
may you have greater high moments...may you accept these words from a stranger. PS - I don't believe in 'accidents'..I was led to Kate's book.

Patricia Goodwin
Pocono Lake, PA

no rank Patricia Goodwin
just an interested bystander

April 15, 2012

Born in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountain, not far from the Tennessee River, Drew was born. It is people like him that makes Tennessee proud to be called the Volunteer State and she has produced none greater than my brother.

Ed Griffith
brother

April 15, 2012

Dear Everyone,

Thank you so much for saying such nice things about my dad. Henry Clements- I got an image of you saying to your Lab, "Stop peeing on the furniture Drew!" and I know my dad would get a kick out of that!

Yesterday, I was working on an art project at my volunteer job at the Center for Grieving Children here in Portland, ME, and it was a "memory lane" in which you write and draw about the people you have loved that have passed away. Suddenly ALL these memories came rushing back! There are so many of course, but I will always remember the day my dad pulled over my school bus, sirens and everything because we were late getting to the stop. I was five.

A few years ago my dad's sister Mary took me to the police station in Hartwell, Georgia, and they had an entire display of newspaper clippings and photos, and nice messages dedicated to my dad, and the guy-o's working were SO nice! They told me it was an honor to meet me, but really, I was the one with the honor of meeting them! I also had the privilege of handing out my Dad's memorial scholarship several years ago to one of my good friends. It was such a great feeling.

I can't believe it's been sixteen years already. Those years have been filled with love and support, family, friends, and amazing community members. Thanks once again for everything, all of you!

Love, Ellie

Ellie Griffith
Daughter of JAG

April 14, 2012

To all Drew's friends and comrades, to all law enforcement officers: On Sunday, it will have been sixteen years since Drew's death. The children are fine---they aren't even children any more, but young adults! And Drew's son Zach has applied to the Maine State Police. If all goes well, the next Trooper Griffith will begin at the Academy in August.

A law enforcement widow declared, memorably, "It is not how they died, but how they lived that makes them heroes." The corollary to this is that you don't have to die to be a hero: All of you are heroes too. My love and thanks to all of you---Kate (412-A)

Chaplain Kate Braestrup
widow, and Chaplain, Maine Warden Service

April 13, 2012

Drew,

We always knew if you were on a raid with us that we'd be a lot safer.

We miss you, but haven't forgotten you. I just named my new Lab puppy after you. I hope he's as loyal and brave as you were.

Ronnie Damon and I can't get together that your name doesn't come up.

Harry Clements DEA 1971-1995

Senior Special Agent Retired
Federal DEA

June 29, 2011

Trooper Griffith,

May you always be remembered for your service. I recently read your wife's book and as a police widow myself (also LOD),was so touched by your marriage and relationship-I completely relate. Your wife is an inspiration and I so enjoyed her book about her journey into her 'new normal'. Thank you for your service and may your family know they are not alone. You will always be remembered.

L. Parry
Wife of Det Sgt Mark F. Parry
Balto County Police Dept
E.O.W. 1-21-02

Anonymous

October 26, 2010

I also read your wife's story in Reader's Digest...what a wonderful and strong woman. Rest in Peace.

Ofc. Williams
UGPD

December 23, 2009

I just read your wife's story in the Reader's Digest...rest in peace, my brother, you were truly loved.

PJN
CCSPD

December 21, 2009

Your heroism and service is honored today, the thirteenth anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

April 17, 2009

After reading these reflections it makes me proud to share his last name. God bless and be with the family of Trooper James A. Griffith , from the family of retired Trooper William R. Griffith Sr., Trooper William R. Griffith Jr., and Trooper Jared L. Griffith from South Carolina.

Trooper William R. Griffith Jr.
South Carolina State Highway Patrol

November 20, 2008

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Sergeant
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

February 11, 2008

Rest in Peace!

Police Corporal Matt Lyons (Historian)
Oceanside Police Department, Cal

January 21, 2008

Trooper Griffith,

I just finished your wife's book and what a truly amazing and inspiring man you were. Thank you for protecting and serving. You will never be forgotten.

Ashley Adams
Girlfriend of HCSO Deputy S783

November 20, 2007

Trooper Griffith,
Although we have not met, I did meet your wife. She and I both responded to a drowning call a couple of months ago. We spent quite a while together that day. I remember stopping her and thanking her for being so kind and doing such a great job. A few days ago I heard about the book she just wrote. I now know why, and how she is able to do her job with the Warden Service. Thank you sir... for your service to our state, and for continuing to be with your family so they are able to help others. Rest in peace.

Jessica Mihalik
ASO

November 6, 2007

I have read the story of your life and love with your wife and family...thank you for touching this world with your kindness...you live everyday in the work of your wife and the smiles of your children...
Sincerely,
Charlotte R. Olson
Minnesota

Charlotte Olson

September 7, 2007

I knew james as a friend and I still rember talking to him . We will miss you James.

December 20, 2006

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.