MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A Myrtle Beach officer killed in the line of duty in 2002 was remembered by his fellow officers today.
Officer Joe McGarry was killed Dec. 29, 2002 while he and his partner investigated a suspicious person at a business on North Kings Highway.
Today, to mark 16 years since his passing, his brothers and sisters in blue placed a ceremonial wreath at the Fallen Officer Memorial Fountain outside the Myrtle Beach Police Department on N. Oak Street.
“We take the opportunity to remember his sacrifice each year. It reminds our officers about how dangerous this job can be, the dangers that we face out there and to honor his memory and his sacrifice. So, we take that opportunity each year to make sure that his sacrifice isn’t forgotten and that we always remember him,” said Captain Eric DiLorenzo with the Myrtle Beach Police Department.
McGarry was with the Myrtle Beach Police Department for 4 years before he was killed serving the community.
"He had a huge impact on a lot of people in this community he was very active especially with the youth in our community. He was integral in starting up programs such as Shop with a Hero, he did a ton of community outreach and he really, in the short time he was a police officer, had a great impact on this community,” said DiLorenzo.
Looking back on McGarry’s death, DiLorenzo called it shocking, describing McGarry as a “tactically sound officer.”
The garden and fountain where the wreath was placed today are dedicated in memory of Officer McGarry and Officer Henry Scarborough, who was also killed in the line of duty in 1949. It was dedicated in 2014.
“Joe was, as we described, the varsity quarterback or the captain of the team. He was the guy everybody in the department knew, everybody had a personal relationship with. He was a pillar in this community,” explained DiLorenzo.