June 22, 2007
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From the Post Standard:
A line of Syracuse police officers stood at attention Thursday morning in a courtyard and saluted toward a hospital room containing one of their own.
Ten cars with lights flashing were in front of them. Behind them were more than 200 people, some in uniform, some in hospital scrubs, some in civilian clothes.
The parking garage and the skywalk that connects it to St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center were lined with people at 9 a.m. All were quiet.
Officer Marty Henry, a man Sgt. Tom Connellan called "the most beloved police officer on the force," was unseen behind a tinted window receiving his "Signal 94," a ceremony marking the end of his last shift on duty.
Henry, 56, an officer with the force since 1975, is being treated at the hospital. He has cancer, his family said.
The officers in the courtyard held the salute for almost 10 minutes. The cadets in the police
academy saluted in their sweats. Tears moved down more than one cheek. "God bless our friend. You're a fine example for all of us to follow," Deputy Chief Michael Kerwin said before the 911 center made the radio broadcast marking Henry's end of service.
Henry last served in the chief's office but was more known for his work in the personnel department.
"Anyone hired (by the Police Department) in the last 10 years went through Marty to get here," Connellan said.
"When you came on the job, he gave you your badge. When you retired, he took it back," Deputy Chief Dave Barrette said.
He was also the man who planned Signal 94 ceremonies for retiring officers, Barrette said.
"Marty took sick a week after putting in his retirement papers," Barrette said.
He was supposed to retire in May but decided not to when he learned of his illness, Barrette said.
During his career, Henry had a couple of brushes with death. He almost died in the summer of 1981 when he was stabbed as he was going through a door, Barrette said.
Henry also was forced off Interstate 481 in 1999 when his vehicle was rammed from behind by a speeding sport utility vehicle. Henry went across the median and through oncoming traffic before hitting a tree, records state.
His sons, Tom and Chris, were in the room with him. Tom works for Google in California, and Chris is in the Washington, D.C., police academy.
"He was shocked," Tom Henry said. "I don't think he realized the impact the ceremony would have."
The numbers of people that Henry had touched moved everyone in the room, he said.
After the service, as the police cars pulled away, police Chief Gary Miguel told officers that Henry was moved.
"He saw the whole thing and so did his family," an emotional Miguel said. "I said, 'Marty, how many people do you think are out there?' " Miguel told officers. "He said, 'A lot.' I said, 'They're all here for you.' "
A 32-year veteran of the Syracuse Police Department died this evening after a short battle with cancer, Sgt. Tom Connellan
said. Officer Marty Henry, 56, retired Thursday as more than 200 people lined up outside his room at St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center and saluted him. The ceremony, called a "Signal 94," marked the end of his last shift on duty. "I can't say enough about Marty Henry," Connellan said tonight. "There are no words right now. If everyone treated people the way Marty did, this world would be a much better
place. "Henry's doctors diagnosed his cancer in May.
June 22, 2007 Martin P. Henry, 56, of Manlius, died Friday evening at St. Joseph's Hospital, after a short battle with cancer. Marty was born in Syracuse and graduated from Nottingham High School in 1969. Marty was an officer with the Syracuse Po-lice Department for 32 years. Marty was predeceased by his wife of 27 years, Debbie, in 2003. Survived by his two sons, Thomas of California and Christopher of Washington, DC; his father, Thomas of Syracuse; a brother, John of Manlius; two sisters, Jackie Smith of Morrisville and Laurie Ross of Auburn; 11 nephews; six nieces; and many special friends who will miss him dearly. Funeral Services: 10 a.m. Tuesday at Holy Cross Church, DeWitt. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, DeWitt. Calling hours will be 3 to 7 p.m. Monday at Eaton-Tubbs-Schepp Funeral Home, 7191 E. Genesee St., Fayetteville. For directions, local florists or a guest book, please visit www.SCHEPPFAMILY.com Contributions may be made in his memory to the American Cancer Society, 6725 Lyons Street, P.O. Box 7, East Syracuse, NY 13057 EATON-TUBBS-SCHEPP Fayetteville 637-3214
Published in the Syracuse Post Standard on 6/24/2007.