From Death to New Life: A Letter to the Friends and Family of Officer Fox

When Officer David Petzold was killed in 2006, we struggled to deal with the grief and pain, so the Officer David M. Petzold Memorial Foundation was born.

On the day of the funeral of Plymouth Township Police Officer Bradley Fox, the bitter memory of Dave Petzold’s passing nearly six years ago still weighs in the hearts of all of us.

Words cannot fully express how deeply sorry we are for the loss of Officer Fox.  We know from our own experience that Brad’s unexpected passing leaves a hole in the hearts of those who new and loved him.  At this time in their lives that loss seems impossible to overcome.

Please know, that his sacrifice will not be forgotten.  His spirit, dedication, valor, and love of life will live on in those who knew and loved him.

As stories are passed from friends, family, and those whose lives he touched throughout his years of service, we hope they find comfort, knowing that he will be remembered and honored as an incredible man.  He will live on in those memories everyday.  As his children grow, they will continue to love, learn, and know their father through the eyes of all who knew, loved, and respected him.

We share in your sorrow and understand the depth of your pain. 

There are a million different clichés that people say when bad things happen to good people.  " Every cloud has a silver lining"… "When life gives you lemons make lemonade " are just a few that come to mind.  In the wake of Dave's tragic passing, we...his family and friends struggled how to deal with our grief and how to continue to have his integrity, honor, and commitment to family, education, community, and public service live on.  With that in mind, the Officer David M. Petzold Memorial Foundation was born.  

The Foundation gave us an avenue to continue Dave's work whether or not we wore a badge. The generosity of the Southern Lehigh and surrounding communities gave us the seed money to start annual scholarships at Southern Lehigh High School and at DeSales University.  The scholarships are given to outstanding students not only academically but who show strong social resolve for the community where they live and go to school.  The foundation and it's members work tirelessly at fundraising throughout the year and rely solely on the support of the communities, residents, and businesses of the Lehigh Valley.  When I started speaking to local businesses and residents about Dave Petzold and the Petzold Foundation I was unable to do so without tears.  In fact, I often thought that people made donations because they felt sorry for me.  With every tear I shed, my heart became a little less heavy and the burden a little lighter.

 In 2010, we partnered with DeSales University and Lehigh County to create the Officer David M. Petzold Digital Forensics Lab Of Lehigh County.  A self proclaimed computer "geek", Dave would have been honored and humbled to have his name on the wall of this unique, state of the art, digital forensics laboratory.  This lab was the first of its kind and continues to be the only lab to operate at a county level in the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  We have begun to celebrate the Lab's successes in protecting the most vulnerable, the children of our community.  We are trying to educate these children and their parents about the dangers of the internet, social networking, and online bullying.  We celebrate the lab successes by providing support to countless municipalities in examining digital evidence that have been related to both violent and non-violent crimes.  In November of 2010, we began to celebrate the people of the Lehigh Valley community who provide outstanding community service at a Gala dinner dance entitled "Beyond the Badge ".  This evening of dinner, dancing, and fellowship is our way of honoring a person or group of people who's energy and vision make our community better.  The award is presented to those among us who go beyond the badge and don't hesitate to lend a hand without any expectation of reward or recognition.   We invite you to nominate your unsung hero and to tell us the stories of the people that you know in your own community.  We invite you to celebrate with us on November 10th at DeSales University.  Bring your family...Bring your friends...Join us in celebrating not only life but each other.  Registration and nominations are open to the public on the Foundation website at www.officerdavid.org.

 I am proud to have known Dave Petzold and to call him my friend.  I am honored to represent him in the Southern Lehigh Community and I am thankful for my extended family and friends with the Petzold Foundation who together we laugh and smile as we celebrate Dave's life "To live on in the hearts who are left behind is never to die".

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