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Police Week: Honoring Heroes | Complete Coverage

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Police Week: Honoring Heroes | Complete Coverage

WASHINGTON (WTHI) - All this week, the country has recognized those who keep us safe with National Police Week.

This year, one of Terre Haute's finest, Detective Greg Ferency, will have his name added to the list of heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice.

 

Detective Greg Ferency - End of Watch: July 7, 2021

Detective Ferency was a 30-year veteran of the Terre Haute Police Department.

He's worked as a Task Force Officer with the Federal Bureau of Investigation since 2010;

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Live updates: Remembering Detective Greg Ferency

Ferency was a teacher, training officers to handle the toughest of situations. He did many risk assessments of violent crime scenes.

Above all that, he was a family member. Ferency was the father of two adult children.

Ferency was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor and the Wounded in Combat medal by Terre Haute Police Department. He was also posthumously awarded an FBI Special Agent badge by the director of the FBI.

"He was a fighter. He was relentless." A daughter's love and a dad's legacy

News 10 had the opportunity to talk with Ferency's children during Police Week in Washington, D.C.

Detective Ferency's daughter, Peyton, described her dad to News 10's Rondrell Moore.

"He was a fighter. He was relentless. That's the word that I hear every single person describe him as relentless," Peyton said. "And even till the end, he kept fighting, and I think it's something that we can all learn from."

Peyton traveled to Washington, D.C. with her family to pay him tribute. While she was there, she got closer to those who called him brother.

"All the support we've gotten, the people we've gotten to meet, it's been great, and the time we've spent with the p.d. personal time, it's really fantastic."

Payton attended several events during Police Week. Overall, she calls it a positive experience but wishes she had been there for better reasons.

"Even though it is once in a lifetime, it's an experience I never want anyone else in Terre Haute to have to go to or to be here, I mean, it's great, but we are here for a reason."

However, she says that city of Terre Haute has given her and her family strength by supporting law enforcement - something she says you don't always see.

"We've been through this three times. And I think it's important to come together as a community and to be behind each other and to have each other's back, so it doesn't happen again."

It's a call for continued unity from a woman who has every plan to be relentless, a trait she'll tell you she learned from her father.

Candlelight Vigil

On Friday, people gathered at the National Mall, between the U.S. Capitol building and the Washington Memorial, in the nation's capital.

They're paying tribute to 619 men and women who sacrificed everything to protect and serve. That number sets a record for any given candlelight vigil.

That's because it includes those who've died in 2021 in the line of duty and more than 300 hundred who've died due to COVID-19 and others.

Terre Haute Detective Greg Ferency was killed last July.

Two of those in attendance were local law enforcement leaders.

News 10 talked with Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse and Terre Haute Police Chief Shawn Keen. Both were there to honor Detective Ferency.

"It brings out more emotion, obviously, when you think about Greg's death, last year tragic, and we need to be there for the family. we need to be there for all the families," Plasse said.

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"It's important for all of us, I mean, it's the 3rd time we've had this experience in the last decade. Unfortunately, but tonight, it's about remembering all of our officers killed in the line of duty and in particular, Detective Ferency," Keen said.

Ferency's name will be part of the "roll call of heroes." His name will be added to the national police memorial.

A sister's love - Project Never Broken

Thousands of strangers attend Police Week, but they're family to Detective Greg Ferency's sister, Shelley Klingerman.

"This week's very emotional, but the fact that you're surrounded by hundreds of other people that you know are going through the same emotions that you are, it's comforting," Klingerman said.

On this night, she and her family listen with others to the tributes, the music, and of course, the roll call of honor her brother's name read aloud as one of the fallen.

"I think every time you see Greg's name on a wall or being read, it just makes the reality kind of come crashing down. Sometimes you want to think that this is just going to be a really long time, but it's not. It's permanent," Klingerman told us.

As she mourns with the nation, a flame is lit. It spreads through the heart of the capital.

To Klingerman, it's a flame of hope and a fire she's turned into a personal mission. That mission is starting a non-profit called Project Never Broken, which aims to support the mental health of local officers.

"Every decision we make is to carry on his essence, so anything we do is really a result of him and the work that he done or was doing or had planned to do," Klingerman said.

Honoring their hero and uncle

Quincey Klingerman is Detective Ferency's niece. She told us the story about the day her high school went on lockdown - but this story comes complete with a hero to save the day.

"Everybody was nervous, nobody knew what was going on, and the first person that came to my classroom and knocked was Greg and right when I saw him, I kind of got that sense of comfort. and that's kind of what he was for me and everybody around him. he was that sense of comfort," Quincy said.

To Quincey and her brother, Griffin Klingerman, Greg Ferency wasn't just a detective but an uncle that meant the world to them.

The National Peace Officers Memorial

It's the final chapter as the nation says farewell to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

On Sunday, the FOP held its National Peace Officers Memorial outside of the U.S. Capitol.

"It's powerful. It's very eye-opening. And it's kind of a big thing to take in when you see so many people," Shelley Klingerman told News 10.

The Terre Haute Police Department united with the Vigo County Sheriff's Office. it was part of the National Peace Officer Memorial. Law enforcement from around the nation gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

The country's leader spoke of their brother's bravery, and Terre Haute leaders are honored to lift his name before the nation.

"Coming out here and hearing all the officers that passed and just knowing all the other communities that are going through that, I'm just very appreciative of our and the way they just step up and provide that support," Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett said.

Local law enforcement told us this particular memorial carries extra weight,

"What we came here to do is to honor him and all of our fallen. Especially here. This is the final time his name will be called, so it means a lot to us to be here for that. To render a salute," Cheif Keen said.

They say it's a time to reflect on all of the officers killed in the line of duty in recent years, a list they say is far too long.

"It's emotional too, because Greg's not here with us. Because you know Rob (Pitts) and Brent (Long) the last few years, it's a fitting tribute, but it brings back those emotions," Sheriff Plasse said.

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