Boise police officer’s widow speaks at ceremony

kterhune@idahostatesman.comMay 17, 2013 

— Cheryl Stall Chamberlain called it "a club that no one wants to be a part of."

On Sept. 20, 1997, Boise Police Officer Mark Stall was killed during a traffic stop when the occupants of the car opened fire on the officers who had pulled them over.

Chamberlain, Stall's widow, was left to explain to the couple's young daughters that their father had been shot.

“I’m not really sure what a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old can understand of that, but as time went on and their daddy did not come home, they understood enough,” she said.

Chamberlain spoke about her husband’s death at Friday’s 15th annual Idaho Peace Officer Memorial Ceremony.

The ceremony honored the 67 Idaho police officers who have been killed in the line of duty since 1883.

Stall was the first Boise Police officer killed in the department’s 100-year history.

“He was a man of integrity, he would go above and beyond the call of duty to help the citizens of this city out,” Chamberlain said.

But Stall was also a jokester who loved playing pranks on his fellow officers, Chamberlain said. That included using fishing line to rig the lights, sirens and windshield wipers to turn on when officers got into their patrol cars.

Chamberlain has attended the memorial and candlelight vigil for 14 of the event’s 15 years.

“I missed the first one; that was the year my Mark’s name was being added to the wall in Washington D.C.,” she said.

Police honored the fallen officers with a ceremony, laying a red rose by the memorial for each Idaho officer killed.

Each name is carved into a wall at the memorial, starting with Deputy Y. Walter Coffin with the Boise County Sheriff’s Office, who was killed in 1883. The latest was Chief Deputy Joshua Eggleston of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, who was killed in 2009.

Chamberlain said the ceremony and the memorial provide comfort to the families of fallen officers.

“For us as family members, it is a blessing and encouragement to know that our law enforcement officer has not been forgotten,” she said

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