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Barta Overcomes Tragedy to Follow in Father's Footsteps

(Source: Jason Weinstein)

A roll call of fallen officers as current and future members of law enforcement look on. At this police memorial week event in Johnson City, the ceremony had even greater meaning for one Binghamton Police recruit - Daniel Barta. He's the son of Lee Barta, who was killed in the line of duty in 1995 - when Daniel was only five-years-old.

"I just remember the good times me and him had together. One of my favorites is when I helped him train his K-9 dog, how I'd get to run in the woods with hot dogs," said Barta.

Events like today's stir memories, emotion, and a sense of duty in Barta.

"Ever since I was five I always looked up to my dad forever. I've always wanted to be a police officer and I'm just very grateful that Binghamton gave me the opportunity to. I've always wanted to follow in my dad's footsteps and now I'm getting the opportunity to wear the badge that my dad wore and before my dad my grandfather wore it," said Barta.

Police laid flowers in front of an honor roll listing fallen officers from a number of local departments and the New York State Police. Among the names, Kevin Tarsia - a Broome County Sheriff's Deputy killed in an ambush on July 4th, 2002.

"Even his car that he drove that time became like a shrine. Nobody else could touch it. Nobody else drove it or anything. It's a memorial that they gave him," said Broome County Sheriff David Harder.

Harder says these memorials help the public understand how dangerous police work can be.

"It has to go on so people realize that officers have given up their lives to defend them and preserve the peace in the community," said Harder.

***In Johnson City, Jason Weinstein, Fox 40 HD News***

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