I am honored to be with you today. And I am grateful for the opportunity to pay tribute -- on behalf of our nation's Department of Justice, and America's law enforcement community -- to the enduring contributions, and extraordinary courage, that defined and distinguished the life of Chief Michael Maloney.
I want to thank the entire Maloney family, especially Chief Maloney's wife, Peg -- and his children, parents, and stepparents -- for affording me the privilege of standing with you, and with the members of the Greenland Police Department -- including Chief Tara Laurent, whose steady leadership has been a comfort to us all during this difficult time. It's also a special honor to salute four outstanding members of the New Hampshire Attorney General's Drug Task Force, whose actions in the face of grave danger -- and whose ongoing recoveries -- are an inspiration to us all. Detectives Turner, Kulberg, Kukesh, and Murphy, I know how hard each of you has worked to be here today -- and we're so very grateful that you're with us. Please know that you, and your families, will remain in our thoughts and prayers as you continue to heal -- and to mourn this heartbreaking, and tragic, loss. You four are true heroes.
Here at Michael Maloney's beloved alma mater, on the field where he once played football, and among his closest colleagues and oldest friends -- we bid farewell to a proud native son, a dedicated public servant, a loving husband, father, and grandfather -- and also a hero in every sense of the word.
From the time he walked this gridiron, Michael Maloney was a leader. Shortly after he graduated from high school, he discovered a passion for public service that came to shape his life -- and improved so many others. Although he could have chosen an easier path -- or a safer one -- he wanted to use his skills and many talents to help people and communities in need. He wanted to make a difference. And, by any measure, he succeeded.
There's no question that the pain we feel -- and the shock and sorrow that have gripped this community -- are all the more acute because this was supposed to be a time of celebration. After a distinguished law enforcement career spanning more than a quarter century -- including several years as Chief of the North Hampton Police Department and a dozen as Greenland's Police Chief -- Michael Maloney was just days away from a well-deserved retirement. He was looking forward to new opportunities, and was eager to spend more time with his beloved family -- especially its newest addition, his grandson "MJ."
But just as surely as Chief Maloney was devoted to his family, he also was deeply committed to the citizens he served -- and deeply proud to be a part of this community.
Over the past week, Chief Maloney has been hailed, throughout our great country, as a "true patriot," a "cop's cop," and a "working police chief" -- who would never ask anything of his fellow officers that he wouldn't do himself. To those who served with Chief Maloney -- and for his law enforcement colleagues nationwide -- he is a role model. And his fearlessness, selflessness, and willingness to put his own life on the line to protect those around him will never be forgotten.
Throughout his career, these qualities were evident -- but perhaps never more so than on his last day of service.
That evening, not far from here -- in the jurisdiction Chief Maloney had sworn to protect -- he and his colleagues were preparing to confront a dangerous criminal with a history of violence. Despite the risks, Chief Maloney chose not only to be involved -- but to help lead this operation. Tragically, when he and his team moved in, these five brave officers were met with gunfire.
But even when his comrades were wounded, Chief Maloney did not fall back. He stood his ground and stayed with his team -- working to help the others to safety.
This act of valor -- this ultimate sacrifice, made so that others might survive -- exemplified the life that Michael Maloney led, and the career of service that he built. Today, let us remember not only how he died but, more importantly, how he lived.
Although we can never hope to repay the debt that we owe him -- or to understand his senseless murder -- let it never be said that he died in vain.
In the efforts of every law enforcement officer in -- and far beyond -- this crowd, Chief Maloney's work will go on. In the thanks of a grateful nation -- and the embrace of the community he gave his life to protect -- his legacy will live on. And in each one of us -- and all those who have been inspired by his example -- his work to make a difference, and to help those in need, will continue.
So this afternoon, and in the days ahead, let us honor his memory -- and profound sacrifice -- with our own deeds. Let us rally around the family he loved so dearly -- as well as the department, and community, he served so well. And let us take comfort in the fact that -- although Michael Maloney left this world far too suddenly and far too soon -- there can never be any doubt that -- through all he contributed, achieved, and inspired in his life -- he left it a better place.
May he rest in peace.