POUGHKEEPSIE – The City of Poughkeepsie Police memorialized the 10th anniversary of the line-of-duty death of Detective John Falcone on Thursday afternoon. A domestic dispute that police responded to resulted in the officer being fatally shot near the Poughkeepsie Train Station on February 18, 2011, at 1:07 p.m. He was posthumously promoted to detective.
City police were joined by neighboring police agencies and City of Poughkeepsie firefighters on the snowy Thursday for a wreath-laying ceremony at the site where Falcone perished.
The City of Poughkeepsie policeman had responded to a domestic incident in which Jessica Welch had been murdered by her estranged husband Lee Welch. Falcone responded and a struggle ensued between himself and the perpetrator. Falcone suffered a fatal gunshot wound. Lee Welch then turned the gun on himself and took his own life.
Mayor Rob Rolison, a retired Town of Poughkeepsie detective, was at the ceremony to pay tribute to Falcone and offer comfort to Falcone’s father.
Every year the ceremony involves a prayer offered by a local priest and a wreath-laying by Falcone’s father and family. There are no speeches by elected officials. Rolison, speaking after the ceremony, said, “10 years ago our city lost a protector and guardian of our community. It’s important to remember John Falcone and his sacrifice. It’s also important to remember all the good things he did for the City of Poughkeepsie for the 18 years we had him.”
(video – Action News Service)
The City of Poughkeepsie PBA worked with Zeus Brewing to offer a pale-ale style beer to mark the somber anniversary while also raising money for the Dutchess County 10-13 foundation. Jeremy Phillips of Zeus said, “It is an honor to be asked to work with the PBA to memorialize Detective Falcone. He gave his life for this city. For us to be able to craft this brew and sell it with a portion of the proceeds going to the 10-13 Foundation is truly a privilege.” The brewery produced 105 cases, each with 24 16 oz. cans, and sold out of the entire production in two hours on Thursday.
“The City of Poughkeepsie PBA and the Dutchess County Deputy Sheriff’s PBA are two of the best organizations around,” said Bruce Coneeny, DC 10-13 Foundation chairman. “They risk their lives every day, with some, like John Falcone, making the ultimate sacrifice, yet they still work to make sure we are positioned to help officers in need. The City PBA and Zeus have gone above and beyond to help us with this fundraiser and the members know that we are always here if they need us.”
Detective Chris Libolt also serves as the vice-president of the PBA. “This ceremony is never about speeches or politics. It’s about the memory of an 18-year department veteran that gave his life in an attempt to save others. Detective Falcone is a hero and will continue to be honored as such.” In working with Zeus, Libolt said, “Jeremy Phillips and his staff did a phenomenal job in developing the Falcone beer for us. We are honored to support the 10-13 Foundation and by the look of things, Jeremy might have to make a second production run.”