Decision to include Jennifer Sebena on fallen officer memorial delayed until 2014

Jaclyn Brandt

The flag in front of the Wauwatosa Police Station is flown at half-staff on Tuesday in memory of Jennifer Lynn Sebena, the slain Wauwatosa police officer who was gunned down early Monday morning while on duty. Photo: Image by Rick Wood

Decision to include Jennifer Sebena on fallen officer memorial delayed until 2014

CREATED Mar. 21, 2013 - UPDATED: Mar. 21, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC - Officials with the national fallen law enforcement officers memorial have decided to wait until 2014 to make the decision on whether to add fallen Wauwatosa police officer Jennifer Sebena's name.

"Word spread Wednesday that the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund had tentatively chosen not to include police officer Jennifer Sebena on its memorial wall in Washington, D.C.," said Ashley Luthern with the Journal Sentinel. "Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, Wauwatosa police Chief Barry Weber, Wisconsin Professional Police Association president Jim Palmer, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and many others sent letters Wednesday to Craig W. Floyd, the memorial fund's chairman and chief executive, imploring Sebena be included."

An online petition asking for Sebena's name to be added has almost 10,000 signatures as of Thursday afternoon.

The committee initially decided not to include Sebena's name because she "was killed in an act of domestic violence," said Luthern. 

Sebena's husband, Benjamin Sebena, has been accused of killing his wife on Christmas Eve outside the Wauwatosa Fire Department station.

Many hoped that the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund would change its mind about including officer Jennifer Sebena's name on the wall in Washington, D.C. But instead, it put off the decision for another year.

“My heart goes out to her, I don't think it's just,” said Deb Karpfinger, who owns the flower shop across the street from where Sebena was killed on Christmas Eve 2012. “I don't see anything to be gained from [the delay in the decision], to me it's a clear cut decision and.”

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund initially said it wouldn't include Sebena on the wall, period, because she allegedly died from an act of domestic violence. A huge public outcry forced them to reconsider. But now, they've put off making a decision until at least 2014. Wauwatosa's mayor says officer Sebena deserves to be honored.

As the memory of the horrible tragedy lingers in the Wauwatosa community, Karpfinger said including Sebena will help ease the pain.

“This is something easy that can be done for her,” she said.

The memorial is for officers who have been "killed in the line of duty."

You can sign the petition here.

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