WASHINGTON, D.C. (WITI) — The Wisconsin Professional Police Association announced on Monday, March 25th the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is set to meet on April 3rd to reconsider whether to include slain Wauwatosa Officer Jennifer Sebena’s name on a national memorial for fallen law enforcement officials. This, after the group initially said it would hold off on reconsidering its decision until 2014.
The group has said Sebena’s name would NOT be included on the national memorial in D.C. due to the fact that Sebena was killed in a domestic violence incident.
Officer Sebena lost her life early on Christmas Eve. Her husband, Benjamin Sebena has been charged in her death — and has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Benjamin Sebena is accused of stalking his wife, and eventually shooting her as she excited the Wauwatosa Fire Department during her Christmas Eve shift. Her own service weapon was used to kill her.
Since the national group announced they would not include Jennifer Sebena’s name on the national memorial, many have expressed outrage — and have reached out to the group, urging them to reconsider.
Governor Scott Walker is the latest to join the call of thousands to have Sebena’s name engraved on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.
“For me, this is very personal. Jennifer was patrolling, not just on duty, she was patrolling my neighborhood, literally went by my house that night,” Walker said.
The state’s largest law enforcement group, the Wisconsin Professional Police Association (WPPA), has written a letter to President Obama that reads “this is an inappropriate and outrageous insult to Officer Sebena.”
Now, WPPA President Jim Palmer says his group is “cautiously optimistic.” They have been sort of leading the charge in Wisconsin to have Sebena’s name added to the memorial.
“The traffic on our Facebook page has increased by nearly 3,000%, so it’s been tremendous. It would appear the National Police Memorial Board is finally starting to listen,” Palmer said.
A petition on change.org continues to gain supporters. As of Saturday night, March 23rd, nearly 14,000 people had signed the petition to add Sebena’s name to the national memorial.
Governor Walker recently called the national memorial’s president.
“I think the point was made that, regardless of who the perpetrator of that crime was, she was on duty protecting the citizens of the city of Wauwatosa,” Walker said.
Brian Dorow, Dean of the Criminal Justice Department at Waukesha County Technical College taught Sebena and feels the national board overlooked her case.
“An officer loses her life in the line of duty, they should get the proper recognition they’re deserving of because ultimately they’re keeping our community safe. There shouldn’t be a double standard, an officer loses their life in the line of duty they should get the appropriate that’s where it should be whether it was domestic or whether it’s a robbery whatever the case is,” Dorow said.