Fair Lawn remembers the nine-year anniversary of the tragic death of police officer Mary Ann Collura Tuesday with its annual Officer Mary Ann Collura Memorial Service.
Collura, an 18-year Fair Lawn Police Department veteran and its first female officer, was killed in the line of duty on April 17, 2003 following a vehicle pursuit that started in Clifton and ended on the lawn of the Van Riper Ellis Broadway Baptist Church on River Road.
On the scene to assist Clifton Police, Collura was shot four times by a fleeing suspect, who also shot and wounded a Clifton officer before stealing Collura's patrol car.
Three days later, the suspect who shot both Collura and Clifton Officer Steven Farrell, was killed by police in Florida during a shootout.
A lifelong Fair Lawn resident and Fair Lawn High School graduate, Collura worked as a firearms officers and armorer as well as a delegate to the New Jersey Policemen's Benevolent Association. She received the Hackensack University Medical Center EMS Excellence Award for saving a life with a defibrillator, in addition to numerous commendation letters from the community for her "prompt, courteous, and thoughtful service," according to the police department's webpage in her memory.
Tuesday's service, which members of the public are encouraged to attend to honor Collura's memory and sacrifice, will be held at 4 p.m. outside of borough hall at the Mary Ann Collura Memorial Statue, a life-size bronze statue of Collura that was unveiled in 2006.