Garden Dedicated to Slain State Trooper

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BLOOMING GROVE TOWNSHIP -- Monday marks two years since a deadly attack on the state police barracks in Pike County.

Now, in time for this somber anniversary, a memorial garden has been dedicated to the state police corporal who was killed.

Two years ago, the state police barracks at Blooming Grove came under attack leaving one trooper badly hurt and Corporal Bryon Dickson dead.

Now a memorial garden in front of the barracks will serve as a reminder of what Corporal Dickson's family and fellow state troopers lost that dark day.

Etched in stone is a name that will forever stay with the place, even though Corporal Dickson was taken from his family and fellow troopers two years ago.

"He could have easily have been halfway home to his wife and children," said Lieutenant Sean Jennings speaking of where Corporal Dickson could have been at the moment he was shot.

Corporal Dickson's widow took part in the ceremony along with troopers who won't soon forget what happened that Friday night.

"Walking out the front door you feel it. Having this here to abate that a little bit and make it a little different, it’s a good and bad feeling the same time," said State Police Corporal James Travis.

The garden came to life in little more than a week, thanks to donations of time and materials from the community as well as the Penn State Master Gardeners' diligence to pay tribute to Corporal Dickson's sacrifice.

"Just thinking it’s a place for people to see on their way to work. They can pull in the driveway here instead of a culvert they see a garden," said Robert Weintraub who oversaw the project with the Master Gardeners program.

"We thank you for your time. We understand it’s a precious gift," said Corporal Dickson's sister, Stacy Hinkley. "This garden reflects your kindness towards Bryon and his sacrifice."

Many times when troopers are killed in the line of duty, it doesn’t happen at the barracks where they work. In this instance, two years ago, Corporal Dickson was leaving at the end of his shift out the front door when he was shot and killed just steps from the memorial garden which will be a lasting reminder to his service and his sacrifice.

"What was missing was a reminder to others, those who drive past this facility, find themselves here for any number of reasons and many others who’ll work here for years to come," added Lieutenant Jennings.

The garden features a memorial bearing Corporal Dickson's name, benches, a brick walkway and plenty of flowers planted around it.

Another trooper was badly wounded in that attack two years ago, Trooper Alex Douglass survived.

The alleged shooter, Eric Frein, is expected to go on trial in March.


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