Monday, October 27, 2008

Lost In The Line Of Volunteer Duty - Tragic Accident

Fairfax County Police Department
Public Information Office
4100 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, Va. 22030
703-246-2253. TTY 703-204-2264. Fax 703-246-4253
News Release: 08/295/1942/EJA/(6)
October 25, 2008

Missing Police Officer Recovered

Divers located Second Lieutenant Frank Stecco at 12:25 p.m. on Saturday, October 25. He was found in Pohick Bay approximately 100 feet from the point at which he was reportedly last seen. Boats, dogs and divers were actively searching when the discovery was made.

The murky waters and the contours and make-up of the bottom of the bay made this a particularly difficult search. The use of technology aided in searching potential areas where Lt. Stecco may have been. Divers turned to meticulous hand-by-hand searches within a grid pattern. Divers likened this search to dropping a quarter on a football field and attempting to find it by hand.

Colonel David Rohrer, Chief of the Fairfax County Police Department, confirmed the recovery saying, “My heart goes out to Frank’s family; my heart goes out to his police family; and my heart goes out to the community Frank worked in and loved.”

Chief Rohrer called Lt. Stecco a highly decorated member of the department. Lt. Stecco was transported with full honors to include a motorcycle escort to the Medical Examiners Office.

Lt. Stecco was a volunteer role player in a police helicopter water rescue exercise at Pohick Bay Regional Park when he disappeared in the bay at 2:47 p.m. on October 21, 2008. Extensive air, ground and water search and rescue efforts began immediately and continued through the recovery today. Federal, state, and regional public safety and military agencies helped sustain the search, contributing sophisticated detection equipment, expertise, boats, helicopters, specially trained dogs and supplies.

Lt. Stecco joined the Fairfax County Police Department in 1989 and served 11 of his 19 years assigned to the Mount Vernon District station. His bold, proactive style of policing earned the respect and admiration of his peers and supervisors and helped distinguish him as a courageous and selfless officer. He was awarded a Silver Medal of Valor in 1994, a Bronze Medal of Valor in 1997, and a Certificate of Valor in 2000 by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce for acts of bravery above and beyond the call of duty.

Fueled by his passion and dedication for serving the children and teenagers of the county, Lt. Stecco opted to leave the Mount Vernon district and join the Department’s Youth Services Division just one month prior to his untimely death.

He leaves behind his wife, their three children, and his mother. Details of services to honor Lt. Stecco are not yet available.

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