We remember and we salute the officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of their duties. Their courage and their service to the Auburn Police Department will never be forgotten.
Officer Rodney (Rocky) Bonney died in the line of duty on April 6, 1981.
Officer Bonney drowned while trying to save a teenage boy who had fallen into the icy Androscoggin river while riding his bicycle along the railroad trestle/foot bridge (behind Florian's Market on Main Street in Auburn). Officer Bonney was the first officer to arrive at the scene and immediately stripped out of his jacket and service belt. He dove into the river and was able to make it to the boy.
The boy began to struggle with Officer Bonney out of fear. A second officer - Officer John Perrino - arrived at the scene and also entered the water. Realizing that he could not continue, Officer Bonney pushed the boy towards Perrino. Perrino grabbed the boy as Officer Bonney fell below the surface. The boy continued to struggle and also fell below the surface after causing Perrino to lose his grip. Officer Perrino managed to get ashore and was pulled from the water.
Officer Bonney's body was not located until the following afternoon. When Florian's Market was relocated, a city park was built on its site. The park was later named "Bonney Park" in Rocky's memory.
Officer Bonney had served with the Auburn Police Department for 2 years. He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter. Click here to visit Officer Bonney's memorial on the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) website.
Officer Norman Philbrick died in the line of duty on July 7, 1949.
Fire crews from our sister city of Lewiston were called in to assist with a large fire. While Officer Philbrick was directing traffic, two fire trucks rounded the intersection at the same time, crushing him to death.
The force of the impact was so great that Officer Philbrick’s duty weapon was bent to nearly a ninety degree angle. Officer Philbrick’s weapon is displayed at the Auburn Police Department as a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice he gave to the citizens of our city.
Officer Philbrick had served with the Auburn Police Department for two years. He was survived by his wife and two daughters.
Click here to visit Officer Philbrick's memorial on the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) website.
Residents and visitors to Auburn will notice our beautiful law enforcement memorial at the intersection of Court and Turner Streets, across from Auburn's City Hall building. This memorial, which was previously situated in front of the Auburn Police Department at One Minot Avenue, was moved to its impressive new location in 2011.
Surrounded by a carefully-placed cobblestone courtyard, flagpoles, lush landscaping and new grass, the memorial stone stands as a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice that Officer Rocky Bonney and Officer Normand Philbrick made. It is, perhaps, the perfect location - because the entire community can view it; but also due to the fact that both officers lost their lives just a short distance from the site.
The memorial was relocated thanks to the generosity of several community partners. Led by K & K Excavation, these businesses and individuals made this project a reality, donating thousands of dollars worth of materials and labor. They took delicate care in the creation of this memorial site. They did it for our city, for our police officers and most importantly, for the families of Officers Philbrick and Bonney.
On behalf of the Auburn Police Department; the Auburn Police Benefit Association; Auburn’s City Council and the citizens of Auburn, we extend a warm “thank you” to the following for their generous and extraordinary contributions to this project: K & K Excavation; Bill Johnson; Hebert Construction; Platz Associates; the City of Auburn Engineering Department; Gammon Landscaping Nursery; KMP Landscaping; The Sign Store; and the City of Auburn Public Works Department.
The slideshow below features photographs from the re-dedication ceremony which was held on Tuesday, May 15, 2012. Click on the photo to view the slideshow.