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ODMP Remembers...

Lieutenant Pilot Henry John Virginia State Police, Virginia

Lieutenant Pilot

Henry John "Jay" Cullen, III

Virginia State Police, Virginia

End of Watch: Saturday, August 12, 2017

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 48

Tour: 23 years

Badge # 71

Cause: Aircraft accident

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Lieutenant Pilot Jay Cullen and Trooper Pilot Berke Bates were killed when their Bell 407 helicopter crashed into a wooded area in a residential neighborhood on Old Farm Road in Albemarle County, Virginia.

They were in the area to monitor civil unrest that was occurring in Charlottesville, Virginia, during a large protest. The helicopter had just taken off to monitor the Virginia governor's motorcade after he arrived in the area to assess the situation. The helicopter experienced some sort of issue before crashing into the trees and becoming engulfed in flames.

Trooper Bates and Lieutenant Cullen were killed in the crash.

Lieutenant Cullen had served with the Virginia State Police for 23 years and was assigned as the commander of the Aviation Unit. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Trooper Pilot Berke M. M. Bates
Virginia State Police, Virginia
End of Watch: Saturday, August 12, 2017
Cause: Aircraft accident

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In Honor of your Sacrifice and for your family and friends, I salute you as a HERO!

"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 who’s 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

Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1993 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission
Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

Investigator David L Bell (Retired)
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC
September 8, 2017

 

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