During the 1980’s, then Police Offier Robert Rolison, Vice President of the PBA, and Police Officer Vincent Osoba, President of the PBA, attended police memorial services throughout the area. They decided they wanted to have their own site where every year, during the week of May 15th (National Police Officer’s Memorial), they too could have a police memorial.
Rob Began a fundraising campaign to raise approximately $10,000 to establish a memorial. At the time Rob went to David Hinkley, Supervisor of Town of Poughkeepsie and chairman of the Board of Trustees at Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetary. Mr. Hinkley was a staunch supporter of the mena dn women of the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department. When Rob told him of the idea, Mr. Hinkley, along with Charlie Fells, Superintendent of the cemetery, offered the police department the site near the duck pond at the cemetery for the memorial.
During the fundraising campaign, where people throughout the local community were contributing monies, a sizeable donation was received from the estate of the late actor James Cagney. During the 1950’s and 1960’s Mr. Cagney too was a supporter of the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department. The funraising goal was achieved and the stone was located near the Shawangunk Mountains in the Town of Gardiner located in Ulster County.
Local contractors including the late Karl “Monk” Mannain donated their time and equipment to get the stone and transport it to the cemetery. Fresh pavement in the area of the stone and a flagpole were donated by Harold Burcher of Sun Up Enterprises.
The memorial was dedicated in May of 1990 and has been the site of the annual Police Officer Memorial Service ever since, It is a special time for members of the police department to take time out to remember officers and their families who have made this police department one of the finest police departments.