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NLEOMF Adds Slain Wis. Cop To Memorial Wall

April 03, 2013  | 

Officer Jennifer Sebena will be honored on the National Law Enforcement Memorial. Photo: POLICE file
Officer Jennifer Sebena will be honored on the National Law Enforcement Memorial. Photo: POLICE file

A Wisconsin officer allegedly stalked and killed by her jealous husband will be added to the national police memorial in May, following the reversal of a decision by the memorial's steward to deny the officer's inclusion.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said Wednesday it would add the name of Wauwatosa Police Department Officer Jennifer Sebena to the police memorial in the nation's capital.

Officer Sebena was killed on patrol while in uniform on Dec. 24. Her husband Ben Sebena has been charged in her death.

The Memorial Fund decided in February that Officer Sebena's name wouldn't be added to the memorial because he death was considered domestic violence. Following objections to that decision from Gov. Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, the Memorial Fund agreed in March to delay the decision.

On Wednesday, the fund's Board of Directors reversed the decision after further review showed similar cases of officers already added to the memorial.

"Officer Sebena was carrying out her duties as a law enforcement officer at the time of her death; that there were case precedents involving similar circumstances where a law enforcement officer had previously been added to the memorial; and Officer Sebena's own department had formally declared her death 'in the line of duty,'" according to a statement.

Memorial Fund leaders spoke with Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber and reviewed the criminal investigative report. The Memorial Fund's stated criteria for inclusion allows for an officer to be added to the wall "if a department states that the officer died in the line of duty and there is no information to believe otherwise," according to the fund.

"While Officer Sebena's case was unusual, the NLEOMF Board of Directors believes that the review of Officer Sebena's case was in all respects prudent and that the final vote to honor Officer Sebena by adding her name to the memorial is the right decision," said Craig Floyd, the fund's chairman and CEO.

Comments (23)

Displaying 1 - 23 of 23

Marlin Strouth @ 4/2/2013 12:49 PM

It's only right that she be added to the wall. Although her husband turned criminal and caused her death, she was on duty and working when she fell victim to a criminal act.

Runbot @ 4/3/2013 2:35 PM

Tragic, but her inclusion lessens the honor of officers killed in the line of duty defending the citizenry.

Retired NY Boss @ 4/3/2013 2:43 PM

She was on duty, on patrol, which means she was protecting the citizenry.
She died in uniform while doing her job. That's the relevant point.

8sam1mpd @ 4/3/2013 2:49 PM

Officer Sebena was an on-duty uniformed Police Officer at the time the suspect assaulted and feloniously killed her by use of a firearm. The fact that the suspect was her husband does not change in anyway or overshadow the honor at all.

Brother in Blue @ 4/3/2013 2:54 PM

RIP officer, glad fhe decision has come to add your honor to the list of other that have placed their lives on the line for what we do..
Much respect to you

WI Sheriff @ 4/3/2013 3:03 PM

Officer Sebena was a couragous and dedicated officer performing her duties, the fact she was a victim of domestic violence has no bearing. By denying her name being placed on the Memorial is nothing short of denying her service. Runbot, you are way off base, domestic violence and the aftermath take more police officers then we know, Sebena died on-duty doing her job.

IBDFUZZ @ 4/2/2013 3:33 PM

Runbot....What? You could not possibly be L.E. to make a comment like that. And that mindset alone is what lessons our honor. Seriously dude or dude-ett.

Peacemaker @ 4/3/2013 3:47 PM

Good choice NLEOMF. Very Glad to heard that Officer Sebena will be honored at the National level as well as the state level. RIP and that you for your service. Brother's and sister's in blue, be safe and watch each other's back. It is a Thin Blue Line that we all walk.

Tschako @ 4/3/2013 7:14 PM

This never should have been an issue.

DaveUS5566D1 @ 4/3/2013 10:48 PM

You bet right thing!! If I remember correctly-The husband offender shot her while she was on duty getting ready to go on a chow-break shot her from behind when she exited her unit...And then the offender stood over her and put another bullet in her head...RIP Officer Jennifer Sebena you will always be with your team in spirit this can never be taken!

Sgt. Mike @ 4/4/2013 4:52 AM

It does not matter to me what the relationship is between an LEO and their murderer before or during the act that brought about the death. IMHO, any LEO performing their duties, who is stalked, attacked, and murdered, died in the line of duty.

Officer Sebena was shot in the back like many LEOs before her, and should be honored. I'm pleased the fund changed their decision.

RIP Officer Sebena

David Greeley @ 4/4/2013 5:46 AM

Thankfully an agency in Washington DC that can admit they made a mistake and then correct it.
Officer Sebena deserves to be remembered and saluted for her service to her community. Our prayers are with her and her family, may they find a little comfort in the "right" thing being finally done.

Milwoutlaw @ 4/4/2013 5:58 AM

I knew they'd cave in to the women in Law Enforcement making noise on this. Although a tragic event, she did not die in the line of fire or in the line of duty. She died because her husband chose to execute her at work instead of home. She's dead because of her own bad choices, not because she was a Law Officer and her death had nothing to do with those duties. Wrong decision to put her on

AZRider @ 4/4/2013 6:10 AM

I just knew this would happen and the Board would relent to pressure placed on them. The original decision was correct and it should not have been reversed. I'm quite certain this reversal evolved due to enormous pressure exerted by the many Womens Law Enforcement Organizations making erroneous claims of discrimination and lack of respect, which really are not applicable. She died tragically on duty, yes, but not because of any requirements of The Job. If she had a Heart Attack and died, there would be a push to included HER, if for no other reason than her gender.

Trigger @ 4/4/2013 6:48 AM

Thank you

drobbins @ 4/4/2013 7:01 AM

Wow... a little misogynism is too much misogynism... aren't we yet beyond that in professional law enforcement? Based on the opinions of some, the recent WV sheriff killed eating lunch might not even qualify.

Kristin @ 4/4/2013 7:41 AM

To the parties who believe she was added becasue of pressures from "women organizations", you are a disgrace to this profession. I've been a LEO for 17 years and have fought to prove that I am worthy and deserving of this job. Yes, I am female, and yes, I am a damn good officer. I see no less valor in dying the way Officer Sebena died than in dying of a heart attack as you walk up to a call, or being shot while you ate lunch. There were plenty of men fighting for her name to be on the wall as well, far more than there were women, since our numbers are so far less in LE. Pull your head out of your 1950's you know what. This isn't male/ female, this is a family member in blue!

drobbins @ 4/4/2013 7:45 AM

Kristin... you said it much better than I.

[email protected] @ 4/4/2013 9:24 AM

Kristin: Well said! It seems as though some still believe the "little woman" should be in the kitchen. Fortunately there are some of us who only see the Badge and what it stands for. There never should have been any doubts of Officer Sebenas' name being on the Wall. Blues, Stay Safe.

detson @ 4/4/2013 9:45 AM

Since when is the value of an officer determined by the suspect that takes their life? If good police work had not identified her killer, her name would be on that wall!

Brian Kniskern @ 4/4/2013 12:48 PM

Nice work! I agree this should never have been an issue. It was a line of duty death, pure and simple. Our hearts and prayers go out to her family and the family of her husband.

Elizabeth @ 4/5/2013 10:18 AM

This is a no brainer!! Never should have even been an issue! This brave young woman was serving her community and was cut down by a murderer! Doesn't matter that it was her crazed husband. God Bless her and her family! RIP

DaveSAM5525G @ 4/7/2013 11:34 PM

Criminal Complaint DA Case NO: 2012ML028976...Count 1 First Degree Intentional Homicide, Use of a dangerous Weapon 940.01 (1) (a), 939.50 (30 (a), 939.63(1)(b) Wis. stats, four spent cartridges tell the story KBI Model PA-63 Pistol CCI R 9x18 Makarov N and three federal brand .40 calibre S&W duty issue were used in the ambush the first as she was coming from dinner on-duty...then as she was reaching for her duty weapon this wolf grabbed first pulled it and shot her 3 times in the face (service weapon) Nough Said!!! RIP Jennifer Sebena..

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