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Old 09-30-2009, 11:08 PM   #1
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Default Tribute to fallen Pittsburgh officers set at Steelers game

Tribute to fallen Pittsburgh officers set at Steelers game
By Chris Togneri
Thursday, October 1, 2009

This weekend when Pittsburgh police Detective Pat Moffatt goes to the Steelers game at Heinz Field, he will wear one of the Fallen Heroes T-shirts he designed.

He won't be alone.

City and police officials are asking everyone who bought a Fallen Heroes T-shirt to wear it Sunday, the date marking six months after officers Eric G. Kelly, 41, Stephen J. Mayhle, 29, and Paul J. Sciullo II, 36, were fatally shot while responding to a domestic call in Stanton Heights.

"This is to show the families that even though time has passed, we haven't forgotten and we won't ever forget," said Detective Chuck Hanlon, vice president of Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1. "We're never going to turn our backs on these families."

Officials sold more than 65,000 shirts. Proceeds go to the Fallen Heroes fund benefiting the slain officers' families. The fund has raised more than $1.5 million, police officials said.

Moffatt designed the shirt in the days following the shootings. He wanted to print shirts for fellow officers, friends and family, but demand grew and kept growing.

An initial print run of 12,000 sold out within days. So Larry Ennis, owner of Custom Printing Graphics, which is printing the shirts for police, arranged for an additional 20,000. They, too, sold quickly.

"We couldn't keep up with the orders," Moffatt said. "There was no way I ever could have imagined the support people showed. ... I'm sure there will be a few shirts at the stadium."

The shirts bear the motto "The Fightin' 5th" with an image of the badges of the three officers, who worked out of the Zone 5 police station. They were killed April 4 by a gunman "lying in wait" with an AK-47 assault rifle and other firearms, police said.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl urged Pittsburghers never to forget the officers' sacrifice.

"On Sunday, I encourage all Pittsburghers to show their support for the families of our fallen officers," he said in a statement Wednesday. "Although it's been six months since that tragic morning, we will never forget their sacrifice to the people of Pittsburgh, and we are forever indebted to them for their service."

Chris Togneri can be reached at ctogneri@tribweb.com or 412-380-5632.
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