Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Officer Stephanie Rae Markins

Hobart / Lawrence Police Department, Wisconsin

End of Watch Monday, July 22, 2002

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Reflections for Officer Stephanie Rae Markins

We remember a fallen hero today. I'm sorry that your life was taken in such a tragic senseless way. Your sacrifice will not be forgotten.

May your fellow brothers and sisters in blue continue to be safe and may God bless them.


July 22, 2007

Five years have passed and you have not been forgotten. Keep watch over your loved ones and those still out on patrol. You are a true hero and heroes never die.

Bob Gordon
Father of Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

July 22, 2007

It has been over 4 years since you were called away and I know the pain is still fresh in the hearts of those that love you. You are a true hero and heroes never die. You will never be forgotten. Keep watch over your loved ones and those still out on patrol protecting that Thin Blue Line.

Bob Gordon, father of fallen Chicago Officer
Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

Bob Gordon, Chicago Gold Star Father

September 2, 2006

What a tragedy. Your killer will face his justice on Judgement Day. Rest easy in the Lord's Kingdom forever.

Wisconsin L.E.O.

August 20, 2006

To the family of Officer Markins,

Know that your hero was remembered today on this horrible anniversary. God bless this officer, her family, friends, and brothers and sisters in blue.

Former Indiana Sheriff's Deputy

Former Indiana Deputy Sheriff
Marion County Sheriff

July 22, 2006

Salut Stephanie, je n'oublirai jamais les beau moment, passe en ta compagnie, que Dieu te benisse !

Joel Labonte

May 11, 2006

May you rest in peace now Officer Markins. Your work on earth is over. Now you are in Gods care....

SGT. Daryl Brewer
Clarksville Police Dept. Clarksville, Tennessee

October 19, 2005

Stephanie, know that your memory lives on in all who wear the badge.
While your tour was tragically short, your service to the citizens of Wisconsin is remembered.

Master Trooper
Virginia State Police

July 22, 2005

To my sister in blue,

May God bless you and keep you. You will be missed by all of your bothers and sisters on the Thin Blue Line.

Sgt. Geoffrey Cooker
Cary Police Dept. Cary, IL/EAA Security, Oshkosh, WI

March 2, 2005

What a senseless act of violence you and your partner endured. My husband was also killed by a speeding pick-up truck while parked on the side of the highway finishing up paperwork. Both you, your partner, and my husband were mentioned in an article by Craig Floyd with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. God bless you, your family, friends and co-workers.

Jennifer Aaron
Wife of Ofc. Duke G. Aaron, III (EOW 07/20/04)

February 25, 2005


# 8588


August 28, 2004

May God bless you and your family at this tragic act of violence. You will never be forgotten

St. Louis City Police

July 22, 2004

At the beginning of every shift I supervise, myself and the other officers on shift dedicate the day to the memory of a fallen officer.

Today, July 22, 2004 we dedicated the shift to the memory of Officer Robert Galen Etter Jr., and Officer Stephanie Rae Markins who died in the line of duty on this date two years ago.

When one law enforcement officer falls, we all stumble for a while, but we will carry on.

Officer's Markins and Etter's sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Sgt. Paul Bissonnette
Royal Canadian Mounted Police - Surrey, BC

July 22, 2004

Rest in Peace Blue Angel. May God Grant your Family, Fellow Officers, and Friends the Serenity to accept the things they cannot change, The Courage to change the things they Can, and the Wisdom to know the difference...May we never forget your sacrifice...

Officer Debra Mcfall Ross
East Buffalo Twp Police Dept, Lewisburg, Pa.

July 22, 2004

je suis bien contant, de voir que tu as realiser ton reve de devenir agent de police, je suis sure que tu aurais connus une tres belle carriere , mais le destin en as voulu autrement, je desir offrir mes condoleances a la famille ainsi qu'a toute tes amis et collegue de travaille. (god bless you) joel xxx.



This is the only place where I knew where to leave this letter for you, Months have passed and my heart still hurts because of what happened to you. I am so sorry that I did not call you when we packed up for the Military and moved to Ft. Carson, I was so busy at the time, but now I know I should have made the time. I was only here for about 2 weeks when I got the phone call. (I was in the process of looking for your phone number amongst our boxes of things.) Time has slipped away so fast over the last few years. I wish I could reach out right now and just give you a hug for everything you have done for me in my life. My girls are getting older now, but they still remember and will never forget you. (Especially my oldest who was named after you.) I know how hard you worked to become an Officer and want you to know that I am working just as hard. You see Steph, You set my destiny in life, I always admired you since 9th grade and my respect and admiration for you has led me to also become a Sworn Officer, I only hope that I can do as good a job as you did. I have so many scrapbooks filled of you, and I thank God for them. I miss you Steph and I want you here so that I can make that phone call and let you know we are alright, but I guess God had other plans. Thank you for being such a loyal friend. I carry your picture with me wherever I go, It is a reminder of something that I need to finish with my own life, And when I look for answers, I still turn to you, I think back to all of the advice you have given me in life, and I use it. In all my travels throughout the world, there will never be another friend like you, You had your own uniqueness in a wonderful way. You were a genuine person, and Beautiful inside and outside. I wish to think of you as my Guardian Angel..The streets are rough out there Steph, When I'm ready for them please keep me safe. I have a favor to ask of you..... Frank just got his Marching Orders for Iraq, Please watch over him for me and the girls. We Love you and will never forget you, And I'm hoping that someday my heart won't feel so tortured by your death.

Friends Forever
Julie Greene

Julie Greene

You will never be forgotten. My heart hurts to this day and it always will. Please watch over the rest of us still on patrol. God bless you and your family.

Officer Neil Dorner
UW-Green Bay Police Department

To our sister in blue may you rest in peace. Your family, friends, and co workers are in our thoughts and prayers.

God Bless

Officer D. Johns
Georgia Perimeter College Police Department

Our thoughts and Prayers are with you..and your family.

Patrolman , Mario J. Audit
Lancaster Police Department



Subject: An Officer Recalls the Day

I thought I would share this story:

At Wisc. Memorial Service; The Public Finally Got It


by Deputy Chief Rick Concepcion, Winthrop Harbor (Ill.) Police Department

I went to the police memorial service for officers Robert Etter and Stephanie Markins of the Hobart, Wisconsin police Department last week.

An angry man who intentionally rammed his pickup truck at over 70 mph into the side of their squad car -- as they sat parked on a side street going over paperwork -- and killed the two police officers. As is traditional in police work we wanted to attend the service to both pay our respects and represent our agency.

My partner and I left early in the morning to complete the long two-and-a-half-hour drive from Winthrop Harbor, Ill. to Green Bay, Wisc.

I've been to other police funerals so I sort of knew what to expect. There would be the usual memorials and speakers. There would be the long procession of police cars that would perturb motorists who really didn't care about what happened but simply wanted to get to their destinations as quickly as possible. Every now and then someone walking along the sidewalk might glance up for a moment, then continue on their way. People mowing their lawn or washing their car would scarcely even notice all the squad cars parading by. And at the memorial site a preacher and some politicians would speak and we would all eventually cry.

I am not ashamed to cry at these things, as a matter of fact I always say, "I cry proudly and unashamed!"

Crying is part of the natural grieving process and as my father used to say, "If God didn't mean for us to cry he wouldn't have given us tear ducts."

I've always considered it a point of pride that Cops cry for one another. My friends in the business world don't experience that type of bond with their fellow workers. If a man or woman in the human resources department of your local corporate America business firm passes away you'd never see business people from all the surrounding firms, much less people from out of state businesses coming to pay their respects. That type of bond just isn't there.

But in Law Enforcement, when a Cop is killed in the line of duty you see Cops from all over the country driving there to show their respects and attend the funeral.

Why? It's because we understand that we must rely on each other for our very survival. I always remind my friends who work in corporate America that there isn't people hating them and trying to kill them simply because of what they do. But police officers are targeted everyday by people trying to harm or kill us simply because we're police officers. And as I was about to find out people are finally starting to understand this.

We arrived to the normal scene of hundreds of police cars lined up for the procession. There was the traditional motorcycle officers ("Motors' as they're known in police circles) that would be leading the procession to the memorial or burial site. We got out of the car and began the usual walking around looking at the cars from all the jurisdictions. A loud reunion of friends who had not seen each other since the last police funeral could be sporadically heard erupting every now and then. Everyone had washed and waxed their cars so they would look good and everyone had on their best uniforms. All had the dark mourning band across their badge of office. Whether it was a star, shield, circle, or any other badge of office a strip of dark cloth to show mourning and respect for the fallen officers respectfully covered it.

One of the 'host officers' directed us to the refreshment table where we could get the usual soft drinks, coffee, and snacks while we waited for the procession to begin. Since there were so many cars and officers present the snack table was some two blocks away. No problem. We needed to stretch our legs anyway after the long drive. It was when we began walking that I got my first clue that this one was going to be different.

As we walked along the road I did what all Cops do and began looking around and taking in my surroundings always looking for the danger or the threat. But I saw neither this day. Instead I saw something that I had never seen in my 15 years on the job, I saw people lining both sides of the road. They weren't washing their cars, mowing their lawns, or trying not to be seen by us. Instead they were sitting, standing, pulling out more chairs to sit on, bringing their children out, and even bringing out wheelchair bound elderly people! They did not avert their gaze the way a lot of street people do when we look at them. Instead they stared back at us and locked our gaze. Not in a challenging or disrespectful way but instead they gave us a look of sympathy, caring, as if they were sharing our pain. I found myself quickly averting my gaze, puzzled by what I was seeing. For as long as I can remember the police have always been the "red headed step children" of the public safety world. All love the Fire Department and all seem to dislike the Police. That's the way it's always been.

There's a popular joke that says "The fire department kicks in your door, breaks out your windows, burns your house down while filling your basement with thousands of gallons of water and people love them! We (Police) kick down a door to serve a search warrant on a drug house and we get sued!" There's truth in all humor as the saying goes and this joke is one understood by both firefighters and police alike. But on this day I wasn't seeing any of that dislike or hate in the faces of these people lining the road. I was seeing genuine caring and, as I was about to find out very soon, this warmth here was just the tip of the iceberg.

We heard a quick blast of a police siren and soon saw the flashing red and blue lights of the squad cars begin to come to life and we knew it was time to begin the long procession to the memorial site. First the motorcyle cops roared by, along our right side ahead of the limousines with the dark tinted windows that carried the families of the slain officers.

As the cars slowly began to move we tucked our squad car tightly in behind the one in front of us. As we passed block after block we saw the same thing over and over, a lot of people lining the roads as we passed. I commented to my partner that this was kind of unusual and he said nothing as his head just moved back and forth taking in the sight of all the people. Then, as we drove under a viaduct we saw something that just touched our heart so very deeply. Standing on the side of the road were two young girls holding up signs.

These girls weren't smiling or giggling as most young girls do in large group settings, instead they had a somber and respectful look on their face. I think my partner and I must have read the signs at the same time. Written in red and blue letters on white poster board was the message which read "YOU'RE OUR AMERICAN HEROES! FOR ALL YOU DO, THANK YOU!" The very moment I read that simple message and saw the looks on those kids' faces I could feel the tears come streaming down my face. My partner who had also started to cry blurted out "I was doing good up until now."

I could only reply with a very coarse "yeah". I sat there in the passenger seat of our squad car with tears running down my face falling onto my dress blue uniform. Every time we hit even the lightest of bumps my medals on my uniform would clank together and tears would drip down off of my cheeks onto my jacket. It took me several minutes to gather myself together enough to talk to my partner. "This is like nothing I've ever seen before" I said. There were hundreds of people lining the procession routes. They were all sizes, shapes, colors, and ages. Many were waving flags some were saluting but all wore that same sympathetic somber look that I had seen with the people on the lawn when I first arrived. It was touching! My entire career those two little words -- "Thank You", that I would have died for -- now were on signs held by kids and in the eyes of everyone I looked at!

It was just so overwhelming that I really didn't know how to take it. I wanted to have my partner stop the car so I could get out and run into the arms of these people, bury my head in their shoulder and cry my eyes out. It seems that too many times in the job of a police officer we cannot allow ourselves to become emotional at even the most tragic of calls. We have to be strong and concentrate on out duties. But here today at this memorial service it was our turn to cry, our turn to let loose with our emotions and for the first time I felt joined with the public that I served and I wanted to sit down and have a good old fashioned cry with them. But all I could manage was a slight wave every now and then and a slight smile. We just did not know how to take all this show of solidarity and support.

A few miles later it was my partners turn to have his emotional moment. My partner was a former Fire Fighter and one of the highest honors and/or tributes that a fire department can give is that of the "Crossed Aerials." This is when two fire trucks with tall extendable ladders face each other and extend the ladders to their highest reach and cross these ladders in the center, and thus you have the "Crossed Aerials." As we made a turn I heard him exclaim "Oh no! This is it!" and I looked ahead and there they were, two ladder fire trucks with their tall aerial ladders raised and crossed in salute over the road. We would drive right under them. This was the first time in my career that I have ever seen this most honorable of fire service salutes rendered to a police officer, and it was very moving. Tears again!

As we traveled this 10-mile route the people lining the roads were just tremendous. They stood out there in the hot sun holding signs, waiving flags, and saluting us. I was beginning to wonder if I would have any tears left to cry when I got the actual ceremony.

When we finally pulled into the beautiful park where the ceremony was to take place, we were met by the sight of all the Motor officers standing at the position of 'parade rest' in front of their big Harley Davidson motorcycles.

We parked and made our way to the ceremonial area where the podium and chairs were set up. I was amazed at all the media trucks with their big satellite dishes set up and cameras everywhere. At first I was a little put off by the media because my first thoughts were that I wanted this to be somewhat private. I wanted to stand here with my 300 to 500 'brothers and sisters in arms' and have a good cry. I didn't want the whole world watching me stand there crying my eyes out. But then the more I thought about it the more I realized that I was glad the media was there because I wanted them to see how we all pull together when one of our own is senselessly killed. I wanted the people to see that we are humans and we do hurt just like anyone else who doesn't wear a uniform and risk their life.

The ceremony started and the first speaker put the whole thing into context for me. Pastor Dan Carlson, speaking with an emotionally filled voice that crackled as he held back his own tears, spoke of the September 11th events and how it pulled the country together. Then he said that as he saw all the support and love for the police and firefighters who put their lives on the line every day he said "I was so glad to see that "THEY FINALLY GOT IT! NOW THEY UNDERSTAND!"

There were many other speakers and there many tears cried that day by many people whom you would not normally see moved to that type of emotion. And like Pastor Dan Carlson, I am so thankful that people finally understand what I've been trying to explain for the past 15 years to people I know, that we put our lives on the line willingly and all we ask in return is a simple 'Thank You'!

Police officers do not put their life on the line for pay, for medals, for letters of recognition or anything like that. We do what we do for each other and for the people for whom we serve. Ours is a noble profession of Duty, Honor, and Service. For that commitment we are underpaid, suffer the highest divorce rates in the nation, and often times are killed or maimed in the line of duty. And for all that a simple 'Thank You' is all we would hope for in reward or recognition. What kind of men and women does it take to accept such a horrendous calling? Ask yourself that the next time you see a police officer.

Editor's Note,
Rick Concepcion is Deputy Chief for the Winthrop Harbor Police Department. He has been on the job for 15 years and has seen a great deal many things (as many other Cops have) both good and bad.

"I found that writing my reflections down helps me to deal with and vent my emotions."

Rick Concepcion
Deputy Chief
Winthrop Harbor PD (

CJ Howard
Fire Research Analyst/Emergency Management
Plano Fire Department


Dedication to the fallen officer

A million times we've missed you, a million times we've cried. If love could have saved you, you never would have died. Things we feel most deeply, are the hardest things to say. Our dearest one, we have loved you in a very special way. We often sit and think of you and think of how you died. To think we couldn't say good-bye before you closed your eyes. No one can know our loneliness and no one can see us weeping, all our tears from aching hearts while others are still sleeping. If we had one lifetime wish, a Dream that could come true, we'd pray to God with all our hearts for yesterday and you.

Family you are in my prayers
Tammy Hermann
Fiancee of Dale Ten Haken Manitowc Police Dept. EOW 09-23-98

Another Great Hero taken from us by a coward.
We all die just a little from the loss of this sister in blue.
God Bless Stephanie and the members of Her Dept. and Her Family.

Detective JC Johnson
Danville PD VA.

Officer Markins, you have made the ultimate sacrifice to your community, the state of Wisconsin, and the United States. May God watch over you as you rest in peace. May your family, friends, and loved ones know that you life did not die in vain, but remember you for how you lived.

God bless my sister in blue.

In Valor There Is Hope.

Officer Farrell
Mount Pleasant Police Department
Racine, Wisconsin

Police Officer Chris Farrell
Mount Pleasant Police Department

To the family, friends and colleagues of Officer Markins, the International Association of Women Police extends our most sincere condolences on her tragic line-of-duty death. We salute Stephanie for putting on the uniform and going out to do the job every day. Though I did not know her, I am certain that she was a source of pride to her family and the towns for which she worked.
I can only imagine the pain that her family is experiencing. You all will be in our prayers and in the prayers of a grateful nation that now knows how fragile the thin blue line has become. All of us in law enforcement must take from this tragedy the knowledge that every shift has the potential to become a fight for one’s life. You'll now walk your beat on Heaven's streets. Godspeed Stephanie.

Officer Donna C. Hillier
Purdue University Calumet Police Department - Hammond, IN

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