The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund will meet April 3 to once again consider adding slain Wauwatosa police officer Jennifer Sebena to its memorial wall, according to the Wisconsin Professional Police Association.
The memorial fund first said it would not include Sebena, apparently because she was killed in a domestic violence incident. Last week, it announced it would delay the decision until next year.
Sebena’s husband, Benjamin Sebena, is accused of shooting her to death Christmas Eve while she was on duty outside a fire station. The memorial fund’s main requirement for the memorial wall is that an officer must have been “killed in the line of duty,” meaning “a law enforcement officer has died as a direct and proximate result of a personal injury sustained in the line of duty.” The fund’s board of directors makes the final decision, and the fund is a private, nonprofit organization.
“This is the only issue on the agenda. We think this is a tremendous development and reflects the fact that people from around the country have heard about this and are actively expressing their outrage at the national memorial’s decision to (not) give Officer Jen Sebena the same honor as many others that were killed under almost identical circumstances,” WPPA executive director Jim Palmer wrote in an email Monday to the Journal Sentinel.
“We will continue to encourage supporters to reach out to the memorial board and we are optimistic they will make the right decision and honor Jen this year,” he added.
More than 14,800 people have signed an online petition supporting Sebena. A Facebook photo from the WPPA compares the case of Sebena to that of Detective Norman Montion, who was killed in El Paso by a former business partner during a lunch break and is on the memorial wall.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund could not be reached for comment.