Thousands attend funeral of Greenland, NH chief
HAMPTON, N.H. (WHDH) -- Thousands turned out to honor fallen Greenland, N.H. Police Chief Michael Maloney on Thursday, which was supposed to be his last day on the force.
“Chief Maloney did not fall back. He stood his ground and he stayed with his team working to help others to safety. This act of valor, this ultimate sacrifice, was made so that others might survive,” said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who spoke at Maloney’s funeral.
Holder was just one of thousands who attended the fallen chief’s funeral on Thursday.
Maloney died in the line of duty, shot and killed during a drug raid gone wrong. Four other police officers were injured during the incident, and Greenland’s new chief says Maloney saved the life of one of them.
It was a solemn day on the high school’s football field in Hampton, N.H., where Maloney suited up and played for Winnacunnet High School.
A retired judge, who knew Maloney well, said on the field the fallen chief faced adversaries who played by the rules, but last week during the drug raid things were different.
“On this field of action fair rules were not operative,” said Francis Fraiser, retired Hampton District Court judge.
Maloney’s brother spoke for his large, grieving family. He said the chief would have shrugged off accolades, but the Patriots fan would have joked about it.
“In a pair of shorts and an ugly Hawaiian shirt, I think he would have quietly asked, ‘Do you think I can finally meet Vince Wilfork and how do I parlay this in to a lifetime supply of free Grey Goose,’” said Tim Maloney, the chief’s younger brother.
Michael Maloney served as police chief in Greenland for the last 12 years. The man he replaced says he’ll never forget their fishing trips together.
“People will ask why with eight days to retire, why even take the chance. Because it’s our job. Mike did what every law enforcement officer would do without hesitation -- his job,” said Scott Blanchard, former chief of police in Greenland.
Prior to the funeral, thousands of police officers from all over New England marched into the high school complex for the funeral. Many watched with their hands on their hearts.
“I’m really happy to have known Mike Maloney when he was younger and know that he actually took that bullet for a family member,” said Sandra Marston, who is related to one of the wounded officers.
Among the dignitaries who were in attendance to honor the fallen chief was New Hampshire’s governor, John Lynch, and the attorney general’s of both New Hampshire and the United States. Lynch presented the flag which would drape Maloney’s coffin to Peg Maloney, the chief’s wife.
“Shots rang out a week ago and fellow officers came under siege. Michael rushed to their aid,” said Lynch.
Holder announced that all four of the wounded officers were in attendance at the funeral.
On Wednesday the chief’s wake drew a massive crowd; there we so many people, the wake was actually split into two sections, with law enforcement officers visiting in the afternoon and civilians visiting during the evening session.
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