Written by Mischa Arnosky
Crime scene detectives created the first memorial for Plymouth Township Police Officer Bradley Fox shortly after he was murdered in the line of duty a year ago today.
On Friday afternoon, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, Plymouth Township Police Chief Joe Lawrence and hundreds of police officers from neighboring municipalities helped give the site where he died some permanence.
Ferman and Lawrence helped dedicate the Fallen Hero Plaque for Fox on Friday afternoon in a somber ceremony just feet from where Fox was killed — on an embankment off of the Schuylkill Trail, near Conshohocken Road.
“It’s very difficult — it’s not just a dedication, it’s also on the one year anniversary of this tragic loss, and it’s been a very trying time for the Fox family and the community,” Ferman said in an interview Thursday.
Fox, originally from Warminster, was a William Tennent High School alumnus, and served two tours of combat in Iraq in 2003 and in 2005 while in the U.S. Marines. He was discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant after ten years of service and then became a police officer with Plymouth Township.
He was killed Sept. 13, 2012 after responding to a hit-and-run on Ridge Pike. He followed an SUV that went speeding past in the wrong lane of travel. After the driver exited the vehicle, Fox began a foot pursuit in an industrial area with K-9 partner Nick, rounded a corner along the train tracks, and was shot and killed. The man who shot Fox then killed himself.
“So many of you knew him and loved him, and on this tragic anniversary date, instead of mourning Brad, let's remember and celebrate the man we lost,” Ferman said. “Brad represented the best of what we all aspired to be. A man of character and courage ... we look at Brad, and he was what so many of us hope to be, and, too often, fall short.”
Plymouth Township Police Chief Joe Lawrence got choked up as he recounted Fox’s last day at work. He said he remembered the phrase, “What’s your status?” coming over the radio, referring to Fox … and hearing nothing but silence.
“Every officer that heard that silence knew that there was something wrong,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence went on to say why Fox was a good cop — it was a story written by Fox’s wife Lynsay, and told on the day of his funeral.
“Lynsay wrote and told how Brad was getting ready to leave for work one day, and she said, ‘Why don’t you just call in sick?’ and Brad said, ‘No I can’t. That would let my guys down.’ That’s what made Brad a hero and a good cop,” Lawrence said.
Following the remarks, Fox’s family gathered around the memorial for the unveiling of the plaque.
This is the 20th Fallen Heroes Plaque dedication in Montgomery County.