The Moorestown Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 109 is seeking financial assistance to re-erect a memorial stone for two Moorestown police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
The granite memorial – dedicated to patrolman George Clayton Ayres and Sgt. Francis “Frank” Fullerton Sr. – was first erected in front of the township police station in 1997. Eleven years later, that building and others in the township were destroyed by fire.
Police relocated to 1245 North Church St., and the memorial stone was put in storage. It fell into disrepair and is now in need of a permanent place in front of department headquarters.
“When we ask, the residents of the town, they definitely rally for us,” said retired Cpl. Dan Pascal, president of the FOP lodge. “They come and support us 100 percent.”
The monument needs a concrete foundation, lighting and a flagpole, something Pascal is hopeful will soon be placed.
“It’s important for the morale of the police department …” he explained. “It’s important to keep their memory (Fullerton and Ayres) alive and keep our heroes not forgotten.”
According to Pascal, the idea for the monument originated with the late Wayne Winkler, founding member and first president of lodge 109 and a veteran of the township police department, where he stayed for 26 years. He is the longest-serving consecutive member on the state FOP executive board, with 25 years in.
“He worked really hard to get that monument, so it means a lot to us,” Pascal noted. “He was very instrumental in getting the memorial set up in 1997 …
“He would be pretty happy.”
Pascal has received positive messages from people in the township excited to see the monument again, and he hopes it will give residents more insight into the officers it honors.
“I did a speech for (Frank) Fullerton (Memorial) Park and a lot of people that move to town don’t even know why it was named Fullerton Park,” he said. “So this will bring light to, ‘Hey, this is why we have Fullerton Park, because of Sgt. Fullerton …’
“I think the residents would support it, and we would like to have the residents come see it.”
Pascal and other board members of the FOP lodge would like to see a rededication ceremony for the monument eventually, one that will draw residents.
“We hope that we get a lot of residents that come and remember that even though it’s Moorestown, and it’s a relatively safe town, it can happen anywhere,” he said of officers killed in the line of duty.
“ … I just want (people) to know that there’s two people that gave their lives up for the town.”
To donate to the Moorestown Police Fallen Heroes Memorial fundraiser, visit the GoFundMe link on the FOP Lodge 109’s Facebook page.