Media: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s to honor Jennifer Sebena

Group adds Sebena to fallen officers memorial

A nonprofit group voted Wednesday to add the name of a Milwaukee-area police officer to a national memorial honoring officers killed in the line of duty.

Responding to pressure from Wisconsin’s governor and others, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund agreed to add Wauwatosa police Officer Jennifer Sebena to the memorial in Washington, D.C. The 30-year-old officer was shot in the head multiple times on Christmas Eve as she conducted a routine solo patrol.

The memorial board initially ruled in March that Sebena would not be honored because her death appeared to be a case of domestic violence.

Gov. Scott Walker, the Wisconsin Professional Police Association and more than 16,000 signatures on an online petition helped persuade the group to reverse its decision in a vote Wednesday, said WPPA spokesman Jim Palmer, who cast one of the 15 votes.

“I would like to thank Chairman Floyd and the board for considering our request and making the decision to add Officer Sebena to the memorial wall,” Walker said Wednesday.

WISN 12 News’ Mike Anderson was with Palmer, who said the vote to add Sebena’s name was unanimous.

“Very good news,” Palmer said.

Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber said he and the department are pleased with the group’s decision.

“I believe the correct decision was made,” he said in a statement. “Jennifer Sebena’s name belongs on the memorial wall in Washington, D.C. Her sacrifice should not be forgotten and will not be forgotten.”

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. VanHollen echoed Weber’s sentiments.

“I believed from the start there was no intention by the Fund to deprecate Officer Sebena’s sacrifice but rather the initial decision to deny her this honor was an oversight,” VanHollen said. “Officer Sebena is deserving of this and her presence on the memorial will honor her colleagues who have lost their lives and in the line of duty as well as those who continue to put their lives on the line every day.”

Sebena’s husband, 30-year-old Benjamin G. Sebena, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in her death. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, and his trial is scheduled to start in three months.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a private nonprofit group that maintains a memorial in honor of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.

The names of more than 19,000 officers are carved on a pair of 300-foot-long curving marble walls, according to the group’s website.

Weber said that in his mind, Sebena’s name belonged on the memorial without question.

“I was confident the right decision would ultimately be made. And it was,” he said.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has been outspoken about this issue. He released a statement saying, “Jennifer Sebena earned the recognition she will receive on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Her service to our region, her willingness to face danger, and, ultimately, her violent death are all factors that make her a hero.”

Read more: WISN


National memorial to add fallen Tosa officer Jennifer Sebena’s name

MILWAUKEE – A police officer murdered on the job will be memorialized at a national monument.

The National Law Enforcement Memorial decided Wednesday morning to add fallen Wauwatosa Police officer Jennifer Sebena’s name, according to the Wisconsin Professional Police Association’s Facebook Page.

“We think her service and sacrifice are very deserving,” said WPPA Executive Director Jim Palmer to TODAY’S TMJ4.

“It should not matter who took her life. It should only matter that she died in the line of duty.”

“I am very pleased with the decision made today by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund,” said Police Chief Barry Weber in a statement.

“I believe the correct decision was made. Jennifer Sebena’s name belongs on the memorial wall in Washington D.C. Her sacrifice should not be forgotten and will not be forgotten. I thank everyone who has been supportive of our department. I was confident the right decision would ultimately be made. And it was.”

Her name will go up in mid-May.

Supporters of officer Sebena have fought to make it happen.

There’s been a lot of outrage since Sebena’s name was initially not included in this national honor.

Palmer hoped to be one of 15 votes to end the uncertainty about honoring Jennifer Sebena.

“We think that her service and sacrifice are very deserving,” said Palmer.

Sebena was killed during her third shift on Christmas Eve. Her husband, Ben Sebena, was charged with murder.

The National Law Enforcement Memorial initially did not want to include her name because she was killed in a domestic violence act.

Wisconsin officers were outraged by the omission. So was the Sojourner Family Peace Center, a nonprofit that helps domestic violence victims.

“I think it gives a bad message to survivors and to the community,” Carmen Pitre, Executive Director of the Sojourner Family Peace Center .

“So I think they have a chance to rectify that and to say that this matters that her life mattered and her public service mattered.

Palmer says he would make the case Wednesday for Sebena to be honored. He knows others names have been added to the memorial for similar situations, and he was optimistic the board would do the right thing.

“It should not matter who took her life. It should only matter that she died in the line of duty,” said Palmer.

Palmer says the vote was unanimous.

He knows Sebena’s family has been through a lot and he wanted this part of the story to end with Jennifer’s name on that memorial.

Source: WTMJ-TV


Wauwatosa Officer Jennifer Sebena will have name added to memorial

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The Wisconsin Professional Police Association announced Wednesday, April 3rd that slain Wauwatosa Police Officer Jennifer Sebena’s name will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in 2013. This is a reversal of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Board’s initial decision NOT to include Sebena’s name on the memorial.

Officer Sebena was shot to death while on duty in the early morning hours of Christmas Eve. Her husband, Benjamin Sebena, has been charged with her death.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Board first said they would NOT include Officer Sebena’s name on the memorial, citing the fact that she was gunned down in an incident of domestic violence — which led to outrage. Then, the Board said it would reconsider whether to add Sebena’s name to the memorial in 2014. Later, the Board announced it would reconsider its decision on April 3rd.

“It was sort of for us, unbelievable that they disqualified her for being murdered by her husband,” Carmen Pitre with the Sojourner Family Peace Center — a domestic violence advocacy organization said.

Many reached out to the Board in support of adding Officer Sebena’s name to the memorial — including the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, the Sojourner Family Peace Center and thousands of citizens. A petition on change.org gather thousands of supporters in an effort to add Officer Sebena to the memorial. The Wisconsin Professional Police Association even wrote a letter to President Obama.

“It all came together and helped influence today’s result,” Jim Palmer with the WPPA said.

“Now she’s going to be recognized on that memorial and it’s a very good day,” Brian Dorow, a former instructor of Sebena’s at WCTC said.

Palmer with the WPPA led the fight for Officer Sebena, and was one of the 15 votes in favor of reversing the National Board’s original decision.

“It`s clear there was an information gap in terms of what they were aware of in terms of precedential cases,” Palmer said.

“It allows us to remember her for the good work that she did. It’s a good message to send to survivors that your life matters — regardless of what happens to you. Her memory deserves to be honored for what she contributed — not for how she died,” Pitre said.

Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber released a statement Wednesday regarding the decision. The statement reads: “I am very pleased with the decision made today by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. I believe the correct decision was made. Jennifer Sebena’s name belongs on the memorial wall in Washington D.C. Her sacrifice should not be forgotten and will not be forgotten. I thank everyone who has been supportive of our department. I was confident the right decision would ultimately be made. And it was.”

Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday released a statement reacting to the board’s decision to include Sebena’s name on the memorial. The statement reads:

“I would like to thank Chairman Floyd and the board for considering our request and making the decision to add Officer Sebena to the memorial wall.”

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett also released a statement, reading:

“Jennifer Sebena earned the recognition she will receive on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Her service to our region, her willingness to face danger, and, ultimately, her violent death are all factors that make her a hero.

I thank the board members of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund for thoughtfully reconsidering their decision. Similarly, the individuals and organizations that joined together in support of Jennifer Sebena’s recognition deserve our gratitude.

An inscription on The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial says simply, “It is not how these officers died that made them heroes. It is how they lived.” That is how we will remember Jennifer Sebena.”

Source: Fox6 News


Jen Sebena to be honored on national memorial wall in Washington D.C.

WAUWATOSA — The Wisconsin Professional Police Association announced fallen Wauwatosa Police Officer Jennifer Sebena will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in 2013. The announcement came shortly after 10:00 a.m. on the WPPA’s Facebook page.

According to their initial announcement the latest vote by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Board was unanimous. This latest vote was made possible after politicians like Governor Scott Walker, Attorney General JB Van Hollen, and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett wrote letters to the board asking them to reconsider their initial choice not to include Jen Sebena’s name on the wall.

After the board decided not to put Sebena’s name on the memorial wall, public and political pressure forced the board to reconsider. They scheduled a second vote on Sebena for 2014, but relented and moved up the voting date to April 3rd.

Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber released a statement reacting to the boards decision to include Sebena’s name on the memorial wall.

“I am very pleased with the decision made today by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. I believe the correct decision was made. Jennifer Sebena’s name belongs on the memorial wall in Washington D.C. Her sacrifice should not be forgotten and will not be forgotten. I thank everyone who has been supportive of our department. I was confident the right decision would ultimately be made. And it was.”

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett also released a statement saying:

“Jennifer Sebena earned the recognition she will receive on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Her service to our region, her willingness to face danger, and, ultimately, her violent death are all factors that make her a hero.

I thank the board members of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund for thoughtfully reconsidering their decision. Similarly, the individuals and organizations that joined together in support of Jennifer Sebena’s recognition deserve our gratitude.”

Governor Scott Walker commented on the ruling:

“I would like to thank Chairman Floyd and the board for considering our request and making the decision to add Officer Sebena to the memorial wall,” said Governor Walker.”

Source: CBS 58


Group votes to add slain officer’s name to memorial

MILWAUKEE (WKOW) — A nonprofit group voted Wednesday to add the name of a Wauwatosa police officer to a national memorial honoring officers killed in the line of duty.

WISN-TV reports the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund agreed to add Jennifer Sebena to the memorial in Washington, D.C. The 30-year-old officer was shot in the head multiple times on Christmas Eve as she conducted a routine solo patrol.

The group had previously excluded Sebena because her husband is a suspect in the shooting, meaning her death could be classified as a case of domestic violence.

Gov. Scott Walker, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, the Wisconsin Professional Police Association and more than 16,000 signatures on an online petition helped persuade the group to reverse its decision in a unanimous vote Wednesday, said WPPA spokesman Jim Palmer, who cast one of the 15 votes.

On Wednesday, Van Hollen’s office released a statement reacting to the decision:
“I commend the Memorial Fund for making the right decision. I believed from the start there was no intention by the Fund to deprecate Officer Sebena’s sacrifice but rather the initial decision to deny her this honor was an oversight. Officer Sebena is deserving of this and her presence on the memorial will honor her colleagues who have lost their lives and in the line of duty as well as those who continue to put their lives on the line every day.”

Source: WKOW-TV

More coverage will be posted when available.

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