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September 2011

Sergeant Kevin Furlong

Milford (NH) Police Department

 Sergeant Kevin Furlong

Washington, DC — The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has announced the selection of Sergeant Kevin Furlong of the Milford (NH) Police Department as its Officer of the Month for September, 2011.

In the early morning hours of October 4, 2009, Sergeant Kevin Furlong was the first to arrive at the scene of a possible home invasion and robbery.  Little did he know that the horrific sight he would find inside the home would embroil him into a murder case that would last almost two years, not to mention remain ingrained in his memory for the rest of his life.

Sergeant Furlong arrived at the scene to find it almost entirely dark—except for one light.  When he peered through the only window that was lit from inside, he saw a child—terrified and covered in blood—lift her head from behind a counter.

Determined to enter the house and help the injured child, Sergeant Furlong radioed his observation, and repeatedly announced his presence as he attempted to kick in the front door. Finally, after he rammed his shoulder into the door several times, he was able to force his way inside. He ran to help the young girl, and saw that the blood he had seen from the window was pouring from several deep lacerations all over her body. The young girl—frightened and seriously injured—was trying to yell, but no sound was coming out. Sergeant Furlong leaned down and told the child that he was a police officer and was there to help. The young girl looked at him and whispered, “I think my mommy is dead.”

After carrying the girl outside and making sure she was safe, Sergeant Furlong re-entered the house and began searching for suspects or additional victims. He tracked traces of blood throughout the house, and eventually discovered the young girl’s mother in a back bedroom. She appeared to have been severely beaten to death. After realizing the woman could not be revived, Sergeant Furlong meticulously searched the rest of the home and noticed a basement window had been smashed; he gathered that the suspect had broken it in order to escape the scene. Sergeant Furlong then returned outside to find Officer Eric Wales from the Milford (NH) Police Department tending to the injured girl. Seeing that the girl was going into shock, Sergeant Furlong quickly obtained a solar blanket to maintain her temperature.  Sergeant Furlong and Officer Wales comforted the young girl until an ambulance arrived.

Sergeant Furlong has relived that night many times in the years since it occurred.  In March of 2011, he fought back tears as he testified in the insanity trial of Christopher Gribble, who admitted to seriously injuring the young girl, Jamie Cates, and killing her mother, Kimberly Cates.

Though he has received several awards for his actions, Sergeant Furlong believes that the true hero was young Jamie Cates who, although severely injured, was able to drag herself to the kitchen and dial 9-1-1.

Milford (NH) Police Department Chief of Police Frederick Douglas praised Sergeant Furlong’s actions during an award ceremony in 2010 where Sergeant Furlong received the Officer of the Year Award from the New Hampshire Police, Fire and EMS Foundation. Chief Douglas stated, “Sergeant Kevin Furlong’s call to duty on the night in question epitomizes the very foundation of what law enforcement officers are sworn to do across the country every day; and [they] are the silent partners and protectors for every citizen. I commend Sergeant Furlong for his extraordinary conduct which exemplifies the excellent service we deliver every day.”

Located in the nation’s capital, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers. The Memorial Fund Officer of the Month Program began in September 1996 and recognizes federal, state and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.

Sergeant Furlong, along with the other Officers of the Month for 2011, will be honored at a special awards luncheon in Washington, DC, in May 2012 during National Police Week. In addition, their stories of heroism and service will be featured in the Memorial Fund’s 2013 calendar.