PARKVILLE — In the front lawn of Baltimore County Police Precinct 8 in Parkville now stands two boulders side by side – one has a memorial plaque for fallen officer Amy Sorrells Caprio who died in the line of duty in May 2018, and the other is blank. Both of the rocks were placed as part of a service project by 16-year-old Eagle Scout candidate Owen Mrok, of Nottingham, to create a tribute to Caprio and other fallen officers in the form of a memorial garden.
The garden was dedicated in a service on Aug. 29 in the presence of family, friends, scout leaders and precinct officers.
“I am glad that I get to have an impact with this,” Mrok said. “I am doing something to thank her for her service.”
Mrok, as a Life Scout for Boy Scout Troop 124 in Parkville, I was trying to reach the rank of Eagle Scout and had already finished up all merit badge requirements except for one small requirement for cooking. All that was left was a project helpful to the community, and a board of review during which he is invited to answer a set of questions about his achievements.
Police Precinct 8 spoke with Mrok and his eagle coach about several projects on site that needed done, and Mrok chose to do this one.
“I chose this one because I thought it would be the most memorable and have the most significance for people,” Mrok said. “I also felt like it would be the most helpful and caring to the precinct.”
Mrok started planning for the project several months ago, first setting up a donation page with a goal of $7,000 for equipment, supplies and other materials. He raised that amount in just two days and said that any extra funds would go toward the precinct for future projects and maintenance on the garden.
He was also responsible for the conceptualization of his project and finding the capital and resources to build it. He then had to get it approved across several authority levels within the scouting organization. But the physical work of landscaping started just this past week/weekend.
Mrok, along with scout leaders and precinct officers, rearranged, removed and replanted the existing garden and put the two boulders in place. He also removed the old gravel walkway and installed pavers. He also had help from Precinct 8 Captain Brian Edwards, who is an Eagle Scout, in carrying out the project.
Edwards gave a few remarks at the dedication service, thanking Mrok for his efforts, and his fellow officers in Precinct 8.
“The police officers who work in this building, some of whom are standing here today, stand ready to give the ultimate sacrifice. It is not something that we want to do, but we are willing. When asked, ‘Whom shall I send?,’ Amy said, ‘Here I am. Send me,’” Edwards said, referring to the Bible verse Isaiah 6:8.
He then read a “roll of heroes,” or fallen officers, in Baltimore County.
“May this garden preserve Amy’s legacy as ever standing beside her brothers and sisters in blue,” he read from the inscription on the boulder.
Mrok did not personally know Caprio, but he has vivid memory of the day she died. After Caprio had been killed while interrupting a burglary, the suspects were on the loose near Perry Hall Middle School, where Mrok was a student, and the school was placed on lockdown. His school had to wait for an all-clear notification late that evening to send kids home.
Mrok is now friends with members of Caprio’s family, including her parents Garry and Debbie Sorrells, who attended the dedication service. They helped lift the coverings on one of the rocks and also the memorial bench, “We’ve got this,” written across it.
“Together we can do this,” Sorrells said addressing the service attendees. “Amy, Owen and the officers of this precinct emulate those words, ‘We’ve got this,’ and with that attitude, our community can only improve.”
In addition to memorializing Caprio, the rocks also act as a physical barrier to protect the precinct building.
“By working on this project, Owen is honoring Amy and providing protection and security for the Parkville police department,” Sorrells said.
Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt attended the service and spoke on the importance of the project for the department, calling it a “labor of love.”
“Amy Sorrells Caprio dedicated her life to make Baltimore County a safer place for all,” Hyatt said. “We will never forget her sacrifice or the joy that her life brought to so many people, and looking at this crowd today, it is truly evident that she impacted and touched so many people.”