A Final Salute To Harford's Sgt. Ian Loughran
Sgt. Ian Loughran's is the fourth line of duty death in the Harford County Sheriff's Office's history.
Lt. Hugh John Dougherty walked up to the podium at Mountain Christian Church wiped it down with Lysol wipes then asked for the crowd to bear with him while he checked the weather.
Dougherty, a friend and colleague of the fallen Sgt. Ian Loughran of the Harford County Sheriff's Office, explained these things represented some of his friend's "more interesting habits."
Every time Loughran took over a shift he would wipe down the desk, chair and phone, Dougherty said with a chuckle.
While Dougherty acknowledged his friend could be a little obsessive compulsive in that respect, Loughran was also a man of great humor, an avid watcher of the Weather Channel, a lover of camping and a struggling bagpipe player.
"Ian decided the precinct was the best place to practice," Dougherty said, recalling the time Loughran brought back bagpipes from Scotland.
Dougherty said Loughran loved his family and never looked happier than when he was talking about his wife, Tonya, or his 2-year-old son Colin.
Late nights on camping trips, Loughran was known to slip into the darkness while people talked about going to bed and return to toss several more logs on the fire.
"That was his way of telling us he loved us, he didn't want the day to end," Dougherty said.
Dougherty recounted several stories and said that were his friend there, he would tell everyone they are wonderful human beings.
"Ian's death crushes us, it was such a shock, such a loss," Ethan Magness, pastor with Mountain Christian Church, said at the opening of Loughran's funeral Wednesday morning.
Loughran was on duty during the funeral of his colleague, Cpl. Charles Licato, Sept. 12 when he unknowingly experienced heart attack symptoms.
Loughran, 43, died early the next morning at his Pylesville home, the sheriff's office said in a news release that afternoon. Any death within 24 hours of a shift is considered a line-of-duty death, making Loughran's the fourth in the history of the sheriff's office and the second in a week.
"There are critics who believe that to be a hero there has to be drama; that one should die in a gun battle with an assailant or burn in a building trying to rescue a child," Harford County Sheriff L. Jesse Bane said during Wednesday's services.
Bane said while there was not this kind of drama in Loughran's passing, he was nevertheless a hero and his passing holds purpose.
"I maintain that the situations and circumstance in which Ian found himself during his career, protecting you and me eventually took his life," Bane said.
"It was the stress of that motor vehicle stop in the middle of the night on a less travelled road with no backup that took his life. It was those high speed pursuits, the damaged children of abuse, the victims of domestic violence, the ugly side of Harford County's mean streets that took his life," Bane said.
Bane went on to say that Loughran's death should send a message to leaders in law enforcement.
"We can do a better job of addressing the issues that take their toll on those who form that thin blue line that saves us and our society from those who would do us harm," Bane said.