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Mendon’s New Police Station to Be Named in Honor of Fallen Chief

Mendon's new police station will be named in honor of fallen Police Chief Mathew Mantoni.

On January 11, 1950, Mendon experienced one of its darkest days when Sanford

Police Chief Mathew Mantoni

was shot and killed while responding to a disturbance at a restaurant in town. Although the tragic death of Mantoni happened nearly 70 years ago, the town is making certain

the fallen hero will never

be forgotten by naming

the impending new police station in his honor.

Mantoni was just 39 years old when he responded to

a late-night disturbance

at the Red Rooster Café

and was gunned down by Harold Ward, who had

just robbed the Café and was holding its customers captive. An Uxbridge woman, Katherine Brady, was also killed in the incident and several others were shot. Ward was found innocent by reason of insanity and spent years in mental health facilities before he was released back into the community.

During a September Selectmen's meeting, it was explained Mendon Police Chief David Kurczy entertained the idea of naming the new headquarters after Mantoni during a Police Station Building Committee meeting. The Committee agreed and brought the recommendation before the Selectmen, who supported the idea unanimously. "I think it's an awesome idea," said Selectman Rich Schofield.

In an interview after the Board meeting, Kurczy said it was always in the back of his mind to name the new police headquarters after the fallen Chief. "There's no question about it. We've tried for a new police station three times and each time that was everyone's thought the whole time," he said.

That thought he explained may have also been spurred by a memorial headstone that sits outside of the current police station now. "I used to go and have coffee with (former Mendon) Chief Kelsie Townsend and he always said that was the one thing that always upset him—that no one had ever created memorial for Chief Mantoni," said Kurczy. As a result, in 1999, a number

of people, including members of the police department, worked to create

that memorial. "I give all the credit to Chief Townsend for that monument," Kurczy said.

Police Station Building Committee Chair Joe Cronin stated the official name of the impending new station has not been determined yet but he's completely on board with honoring Mantoni "I think it's a fabulous idea," said Cronin. "Chief Mantoni in my eyes made the ultimate sacrifice for the town of Mendon, and this would be a wonderful way to show the town's appreciation for his actions."


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