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On the evening of November 15, 2003, Officer Gregory Campbell had stopped a vehicle, without license plates, containing two males.  The area where the stop was made was well known for drug trafficking and other criminal activity, so Campbell wisely called for backup.

The first officer to respond was 26 year old Mathew Pavelka, who had been in the field as police officer for just ten months.  When Campbell and Pavelka approached the suspect vehicle and ordered the two make subjects to exit the vehicle, they both alighted firing automatic weapons. Both officers were wounded several times, but in the ensuing exchange of gun fire the officers mortally wounded one of the gunmen.  The other suspect escaped on foot. Both of the wounded officers were transported to a local hospital, where Officer Pavelka died during surgery and Officer Campbell was treated and remained in critical but stable condition.

Matthew Pavelka is remembered as a charming, light-hearted 26-year-old, with a crown of spiky orange hair, who loved being a cop.

To honor officer Pavelka, the BLL offers applicants to apply for a financial award that will cover the registration fees for the season.  The selection will be made on the basis of a combination of financial need, character and service to the community. 


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