1k community members gather for vigil in honor of DFC Glenn Hilliard

 

SALISBURY, Md. – Monday night, emotions ran raw in Wicomico County. About 1,000 community members gathered for a vigil in honor of Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputy First Class (DFC) Glenn Hilliard. The gathering filled the parking lot of Shorebirds Stadium.

Outpouring of Support

“The only reason why I am able to function, is because I know he died doing what he loved,” said DFC Hilliard’s wife, Tashica Hilliard. “Glenn’s life was his career. He loved what he did. Every day he chose to go out and to protect Wicomico County.”

The vigil was organized in just four hours, according to organizer Jeff Merritt. “It was very quick. We thought about waiting a couple of days, but we thought it was important for the community to come out fairly quickly, after this tragedy,” he said. “If you’ve lived in this community for more than about five minutes, you know that when something like this happens, our community just immediately steps up, and they step up in a big way.”

“We’re running on empty,”

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis thanked the massive crowd for their support of his department and the Hilliard family throughout a tragic 24 hours. He says they were met with an endless stream of offerings to donate money or items, provide religious counseling, or even a simple hug.

“We’re running on empty right now. We’ve all been up since early yesterday morning. No one has slept all night long,” said Sheriff Lewis. “We will never, ever forget this family. We will be with them today, tomorrow, and for the rest of their lives.”

Tashica Hilliard echoed the gratitude, and recounted the last words her late husband left her with. “Before he left to go to work, I didn’t feel well. I kept telling him ‘Glenn, something’s not right. It’s weird. It’s like I’m feeling an impending doom, and I just want to be close to you,'” she said. “He said ‘I’ll call you as soon as I clear this call.’ He never called me back.”

Tashica Hilliard was joined on stage by the couple’s daughter, Jersi Hilliard. “Sometimes I would stay up until 1 a.m. and he’d be like ‘What are you doing up?’ and I’d say ‘I’m just doing homework.” No, I was waiting for you to come home,” she said. “Ever since I was old enough to understand how dangerous this job was, I would sit in class worried that call would be like ‘We need you home. We need Jersi to come home because something’s happened to him.'”

Honoring DFC Hilliard, Moving Forward

The ceremony wrapped up with a candle-lit rendition of Amazing Grace, leaving the community with teary eyes, and a strengthened sense of togetherness. “We would not be able to do this job without each and every person that is standing before us this evening. This is what we call resiliency,” said Worcester County Sheriff Matt Crisafulli. “To all the law enforcement officers here tonight, I know that you feel anger. I know that we feel sadness. This tragedy is going to take the transgression of time to help get us through what we are feeling right now.”

Categories: Local News, Maryland