© 2014 Howard County Police Foundation.
Our Fallen Heroes
Howard County police officers slain in the line of duty
Howard County Police Officer
End of Watch: May 29, 1961
Officer Randolph "Randy" Brightwell Sr. was shot and killed on May 29, 1961, during a routine traffic stop on Fels Lane in Ellicott City. Accompanied by his K-9 partner Prince, Officer Brightwell stopped a car for a loud muffler, unaware the two men in the car had just robbed and killed the owner of a gas station. During the stop the men attacked Officer Brightwell, killing him with his own gun. Both suspects were captured a short time later. They were subsequently convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for life.
Brightwell was 33 years old and the father of two small children. After joining the HCPD in 1957, Brightwell became one of the first K-9 handlers for any county police agency in the state of Maryland. In tribute to the ultimate sacrifice made by Brightwell, the Police Department posthumously awarded him its highest commendation, the Medal of Honor. Brightwell Drive at the county office complex was named in his honor in 1975.
Roger D. Cassell, Jr.
Howard County Recruit Officer
End of Watch: November 2, 1994
On Nov. 2, 1994, Recruit Officer Roger Dale Cassell Jr. collapsed following a training exercise in the police academy. He was 28 years old.
Cassell was a well respected, enthusiastic police recruit, and the Department had very high expectations for this native son of Howard County.
Cassell joined the Howard County Department of Police in September 1994 and was on the path to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a police officer. His interest in law enforcement seemed to be a natural development: Both his father and brother work in law enforcement. A decorated war veteran, Cassell received the Army Achievement Medal and Maryland Governor’s Citation for his accomplishments in the Persian Gulf War.
Howard County Police Corporal
End of Watch: June 18, 2007
On June 16, 2007, Corporal Scott A. Wheeler was conducting speed enforcement on Md. 32 near US 1. Wheeler observed a speeding vehicle and motioned for the driver to pull to the side of the road. The driver of the vehicle struck Wheeler, causing injuries that led to his death two days later.
During his six and a half year career, Wheeler was named Police Officer of the Month on three occasions, received a unit citation, and was named one of the agency’s Top DUI Enforcers in 2002.
In 2008, the Scott Wheeler 5051 Foundation was created by Corporal Wheeler's family, friends, and co-workers. The foundation strives to provide support to people in the community who have suffered a traumatic loss or injury and are in financial need.