Candlelight Vigil Held for Fallen Delaware State Trooper - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Candlelight Vigil Held for Fallen Delaware State Trooper

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GEORGETOWN, Del.- Friends, family, and community members remembered Delaware State Police Trooper Cpl. Stephen Ballard at a candlelight vigil held Wednesday night at the Georgetown Circle.

In between prayers and performances like "Amazing Grace" and "God Bless America," those who knew Ballard, who was shot to death last week in the line of duty, shared their stories about the man. Those who didn't know him shared their gratitude for his ultimate sacrifice.

"From everything I heard, he was a fine young man," said Peggy Trott from Georgetown. "He was one of the ones who risked his life to protect us."

Ballard's widow, Louise Cummings, spoke for the first time publicly about her husband's death. She said Sussex County meant a lot to them, as he started his career at Troop 4 in Georgetown, the couple met in Sussex County, and got engaged in Dewey Beach.

"He was a good man. He loved his family," Cummings said. "But that wasn't just me and Abigail. That was you. That was the community. You are his family."

State Sen. Brian Pettyjohn helped organize the vigil, saying Ballard's death hit especially close to home in Georgetown, as one of their officers, Officer Chad Spicer, was killed in the line of duty years ago.

"When we lose somebody, it doesn't matter if they are in New Castle County or Sussex County," he told WBOC. "The entire community feels it when it happens."

In his remarks, Pettyjohn told Cummings that Spicer's family would be resources for her and her daughter. 

Ballard's character was highlighted throughout the night, such as his mentorship of eight Delaware State University students--his alma mater--and that at Christmastime, he would carry toys and coloring books in his car to give out to children he met on duty.

Cummings thanked the crowd for the outpouring of support.

"He truly, truly loved this state," she said. "He wanted nothing more than to put on his uniform and honor the badge and honor this great state. So thank you."

Ballard's funeral will be held Friday in New Castle County. 

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