WATERFORD–It’s been nearly 7 months since 9-year-old Madeline Guarraia lost her long battle with cancer, but the little girl will never be forgotten by the town of Waterford.
Madeline was sworn into the Waterford Police Department as an honorary member on March 30, 2015, and took her duty very seriously.
When Madeline died on April 7, 2016, the department authorized its officers to wear mourning bands on their badges in honor of the young girl.
Now, a new portrait is hanging of Officer Madeline Guarraia, who wore badge number 8, in the department’s headquarters. A second portrait was made for Madeline’s family.
For years, the Waterford Police Department has used money from the “chief’s contributed gifts” fund to commission local artists to draw portraits of deceased officers to hang in the department’s hallways. It’s meant to remind “current officers of those who served before us.”
Earlier this year, the Pendleton Foundation, which was started by the town’s retired police chief and his family, reached out about commissioning a portrait for Officer Guarraia, and the foundation donated funds to help make that happen.
“As Officer Guarraia was special to many local communities, we hung her picture in the Police Department lobby, so that anyone could see it when they stopped by,” the department wrote on Facebook. “Madeline is always with us in spirit, we just have a way of permanently commemorating her service with us now.”
Madeline’s mother, Amie, commented on the department’s post about the portrait to thank them: “I’m not sure we can ever explain how much this means to our family. We have this picture in a very special place in our home. The way you honored her while living, and continue to celebrate her bravery now, is incredible. We KNOW she is so proud to be considered ‘one of you.’ Thank you will never be enough.”