Correctional Officers Gather from Near and Far to Pay Respects to Fallen Comrade

A memorial service for Correctional Officer Kristopher D. Moules drew a large crowd of law enforcement officers who came to pay their respects.

Moules died at Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County Correctional Facility on Monday, July 18, 2016. The 25-year-old correctional officer was assailed by an inmate after a verbal argument turned physical. Moules sounded the alarm for backup, but before other officers could come to his aid, he and the inmate involved with the altercation, fell into an elevator shaft after the door accidentally opened. Both Moules and the inmate were pronounced dead at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

Officer Moules had been employed with the Luzerne County Corrections Department for only 10 months at the time of his death.

Correction officers at the facility are reeling from the news. “By far, this is the worst tragedy we’ve had to endure,” said Lt. Gary Seman, a veteran officer of 21 years. Moules fell five stories with 27-year-old inmate Timothy Gilliam Jr., suffering multiple traumatic injuries. His death has sent shock-waves through the community

A wake was held at Wyoming Valley West High School in Plymouth, Pennsylvania with members of the Wilkes-Barre police department guarding the facility. Moules graduated from the high school in 2009. Law enforcement officers were given a private viewing time to accommodate the mass numbers of personnel coming to show their support.

The wake was attended by members of Moules’s family as well as former teachers and schoolmates. Moules’s former high school coach, Al Bogna, remembered him as a player first but also a friend and collegue. “He’s going to be sorely missed by a lot of people,” said Brogna.

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His funeral the following day drew corrections and law enforcement officers from all over the United States. A procession nearly one mile long was led by law enforcement vehicles from several districts.

“It never gets easy,” said one officer who traveled all the way from Texas.

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