Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Senior Trooper Michael Joseph Rao

South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina

End of Watch Wednesday, June 12, 2002

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Reflections for Senior Trooper Michael Joseph Rao

To the Rao Family -- Deepest sympathies. I'm sure the world was a better place because of your son/husband. Always hold the good memories close to your heart and share them with others whenever you can.

Bonnie Beisser
Maryland State Police

Bonnie Beisser
Maryland State Police

I know your tour on earth is over, but in my heart you are still on tour. Every time I close the door on the fire engine to go to a call to, God only knows what you are there. Every time I put in my 20 as a reserve Deputy you are riding with me. Thanks for the memories. Thanks for bestowing the honor upon me of calling you a friend. I still cant ski or knee board, probably never will be able to (but you tried to get me to). Sal and Lois, your son couldn't help but be the best because you guys are the best.
I will be coming by to hang with you guys. Jan, Mike was lucky to have you as a wife. You are the picture of bravery. Megan, your dad was special and touched a lot of lives, I know he's proud of you. I lost a friend when we lost Mike I always looked up to him. Mike I will see you again brother...............Rusty


Highways of Gold

One month ago today
You were tragically taken away.

It's hard to say goodbye
And not to wonder why.

You paid the ultimate price
With a hero's sacrifice.

Though your watch is now complete
Upon the earthly street.

The highways you now patrol
Are made of precious gold.

Mike - My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with your family. It is so hard to believe that you are gone, but will never be forgotten. I am thankful that your lifelong dream of becoming a member of the highway patrol had been fulfilled. You have touched so many people's lives in many different ways. You have honorably served your commumity, county and state with the utmost pride and dedication. Rest in peace, my friend, until we meet again someday. But when we do, just don't write me anymore tickets. Deal?


My family and I would like to express our deepest appreciation to the Rao family for their ultimate sacrifice. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

FTO Matthew Sisler
Mount Pleasant Police Dept. SC

I remember when I was 7 and Mike was 10, we were playing football with Sal in the front yard of my mom's house. Mike had just gotten his first crewcut (which seemed to stick throughout the rest of his life!), but he wouldn't let me feel his fuzzy head. I think that stands out as one of the best memories I have of my cousin.

I miss Mike very much and think about him, Jan, and Megan a lot these days. I pray that God looks after his wife and daughter, and that He gives them the comfort and peace that they need.

Eric Robinson

On behalf of all the members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, your loss is felt and our prayers go out to you and yours.

Trooper Matt Fagiana
Tennessee Highway Patrol

My heart goes out to Mrs. Rao and your little angel daughter. Please know that you have many people praying for you in your time of need, even people who dont know you. I may not know you but I know the type pain you are going through. My husband was murdered on May 22, 2001 while apprehending a suspect. The times you are facing now are not easy and I wish I could tell you that they will get easier, but I won't lie. All I can tell you is that slowly but surely you will learn to deal with the heartache a little at a time.
And to your precious little angel girl; Listen to all the good stories about your Daddy, and study his pictures so that you will know your Daddy for the HERO that he was. Know that he died protecting the citizens of your town, assisting and aiding them when they needed help. Know that he did what he did for a living because he loved helping people and being able to give them assistance whenever needed made him feel good. He did what he did hoping to help to make it a better place for you to grow up and live in.
May God be with you always,

Rene' Dennis, Deputy Sheriff Harris County &
Surviving Wife of Deputy Joseph N. Dennis EOW 05-22-01

Deputy Rene' Dennis
Harris County Sheriff's Dpt. / Texas

Blessed are the peacemakers,For they shall be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9


My thoughts and prayers go out to Senior Trooper Rao's family during this tragic time. I lost my husband in the line of duty 02/17/2002. I pray for God's peace and grace to be abundant in your life. My children are 6 and 4 and it is so hard to help them cope with the death of their father and it is just as hard to cope with the death of my husband, as it will be for you. But, God will help you. Again, my prayers are with you.

Denise Nichols
wife of Alabama State Trooper Brian Nichols
EOW 02/17/2002

Denise Nichols

May God comfort your family friends and co-workers. You now patrol the streets of heaven with St. Michael. Well served peace officer.

Sgt Kevin McGowan
Charleston Police Department (SC)

On behalf of my team and I, we would like to express our deepest regards, sympathy, and condolences to the family, friends and fellow troopers of Senior Trooper Michael Rao. Nobody can ever be prepared for the unthinkable. How much we take for granted everyday. We feel your loss. We will all miss you fallen hero. Rest in peace brother, rest in peace.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
John 15:13

Sergeant Doug Wright
Dorchester / Charleston County ICE Team

I would like to extend my heartfelt sympathy to the family of Trooper Michael Rao, and to the South Carolina Highway Patrol. Our department lost a Trooper two years ago on a traffic stop when he was struck by a truck. I knew that Trooper from the first day of his rookie school. I know what it is like to loose one of the departments best, and also a good friend. May God be with all of you during this very difficult time.

Lt. Dan M. Vickmark
Minnesota State Patrol

This was written by my wife after attending another service for a Fellow LEO and a Friend it is as follows:

Another Policeman Died Today
I want to cry..but my four year old wants to show me something..I want to scream until no sound is left..but my two year old wants to cuddle..I want to curl up in the corner..but my neighbor wants to know how I'm doing..I want my mom to hold me and tell me the world is a good place..but I have to hug my own children..I want to sob into my pillow..But I just kissed my Husband goodbye and watched him drive off with a smile on his face..I want to know if I'll see him again..but I am a policeman's wife......and another officer died today....

My heart goes out to Michael Rao's family. I hope his family will find peace. I hope this note is never needed again. At times it is too much for me, to see another name that will go on the Wall in DC.


My deepest sympathy goes to the family. This is a terrible loss to the law enforcement community. You will be in my prayers.

Corporal Ian Vaughn
Conway Police Department

To the family and friends of Sr. Trooper Rao

I wanted to extend my condolences to you for your loss. I lost a friend and fellow trooper last year to a similar tragic event and know understand you profound sense of loss. From one trooper to another: God Bless!

Steve Duvall
Oregon State Police



God Bless Tpr. Rao and the family he left behind.

Ptlm. J. R.
North Catasauqua Police Dept. (PA)

As I sit here reading of another officer killed in the line of duty my heart breaks, another family to go through the pain and suffering. When all seems hopeless I lean on Him. None can take away your pain, just remind you of the pain Jesus suffered on the cross, and now Trooper Rao sits at the right hand of our Father. Keep his memories close, and think of them often, it will help ease the pain of your loss. 762, your elite group has grown by one, you are all Heros, and are missed....

Isaiah 40:31

Our prayers go out to the Family, co-workers, and Friends of Senior Trpr. Michael Joseph Rao. God Bless You ALL
from of us on the El Paso Police Dept. El Paso ILLINOIS.

Rest In Peace Our Brother!!!

El Paso Police Dept. El Paso, Illinois

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rao family.


Mike Dawson Arkansas State Police

TFC. L. Mike Dawson
Arkansas State Police

I met Trooper Rao a few years ago while i was in the explorer posts at different events over the state. The patrol has truly lost a dedicated trooper. Trooper Rao, rest in peace now as you end your duty here on earth, and begin your duty as god's trooper keeping the rest of the troopers safe. You have truly paid the ultimate sacrifice. To the Rao family, keep god in your hearts, and prayers. He will be taken care of where he is now. godbless.

Lenny wilson

ex-s.c.highway patrol explorer


To the Family and friends of Senior Trooper Michael Rao:

On behalf of the 1500 members of the N.Y.S.Supreme Court Officers Association I wish to extend our sincere and heartfelt condolences. Trooper Michael Rao's dedication to duty will never be in question.His death though tragic only continues to enspire the entire Law Enforcement community. Trooper Rao died in "The Line Of Duty" while coming to and assisting a complete stranger.Acts like the one Trooper Rao performed will not be forgotten. His heroism and dedication continues to enspire all of us!

James T.Carr
President N.Y.S.
Supreme Court Officers

Senior Court Officer James T.Carr
New York State Courts

To the family & friends of Trooper Rao,
I am so saddened to hear of the loss of your loved one. One of our troopers was struck & killed on 10-3-01 on i40 while on a traffic stop....he too was out of his vehicle when it occurred. That trooper was also the man that I had been married to for 8 years. I know what it is like to lose your loved one and co-worker. My thoughts and prayers are with you & pray that God will give you strength, comfort and the will to go on. Please pull together during this often (as in my case), family and friends fall apart from each other which only makes a tragedy even worse (if that's possible). To Trooper Rao's co-workers, don't ever forget to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you......tomorrow may be too late. To Trooper Rao, look Calvin up & he'll show you around the streets of gold in your eternal resting place. Don't hesitate to talk with other survivors...they can be of great assistance to you in time.

Survivor of Calvin E. Taylor E.O.W. 10-3-01

NC Highway Patrol

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

Rest in peace, Trooper.
Our thoughts and prayers go to your family.

Park Ranger D. Mc Sweeney
National Park Service; former Virginia State Trooper

to the family of Officer Rao
you are in my thoughts and prayers. I feel your pain having just lost my husband who was also a police officer in SC. The love and strength of family and friends has helped me cope and I wish you the same. Hold tight to each other and your love will get you through
Liz McKniff

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