Slain deputy remembered as friend, role model, protector
SALISBURY, Md. (AP) — A Maryland sheriff’s deputy who was fatally shot last week as he tried to arrest a fugitive was remembered Tuesday as a protector, a father and a beloved friend with an infectious smile.
Friends, family, dignitaries and more than 1,000 officers from Maryland, Delaware and other states attended the funeral for Wicomico County sheriff’s deputy Cpl. Glenn Hilliard at Emmanuel Wesleyan Church in Salisbury, news outlets reported. The service celebrated the life of the New Jersey native and Berlin resident.
“Glenn loved what he did so much that he went out on that battlefield to protect us and his family,” said Pastor Dana Bunting-Stauffer of Emmanuel Fruitland, who officiated the service. “I’m grateful that he was our protector, and if it meant chasing down an assailant, he would.”
First Sgt. Burley Williams, of the sheriff’s office remembered Hilliard as a friend, not just as a colleague.
“His smile and laughter were infectious,” Williams said of Hilliard. “There’s no way you could be around Glenn when he was having a great time and not have a great time yourself.”
Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford described Hilliard as “one of our true heroes who was there to protect our state with true valor.”
Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis remembered hiring Hilliard in 2012 and said it didn’t take long for him to become a role model for other deputies and the community. He noted that Hilliard’s personnel file was “full of letters of commendation.”
“His was a career highlighted by valor and sacrifice, benchmarks of our law enforcement profession,” Lewis said. “Glenn put the welfare and safety of others beyond his own.”
Hilliard was fatally shot while trying to arrest a man wanted on multiple felony warrants at an apartment complex in Pittsville on June 12. After a two-hour search, Austin Davidson, 20, was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault and other offenses in connection with Hilliard’s death.
Lewis said he was surprised when Hilliard requested a transfer from the criminal investigation division to the patrol division, but Hilliard explained that he was interested in “professional development to become a corporal.” On Tuesday, Lewis posthumously promoted Hilliard from the rank of deputy first class to corporal. He also awarded Hilliard the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office Medal of Valor for his sacrifice, presenting the award to Hilliard’s widow, Tashica.
“I’ve been there in support of people. But, I’ve never been the one who needed to be supported. I’m proud of how all of the different agencies took care of my family throughout this,” Hilliard’s brother-in-law Theophilus Hobbs IV said. “This right here is amazing, and he would love it. My sister says it, and I know it for sure. He would love the way that he is being represented today.”