Tom Waring, the Wire
Gov. Tom Wolf last week signed into law legislation naming a segment of Bath Road — State Route 2049 — in Bristol Township as the Sergeant George Stuckey Memorial Road.
Act 3 of 2015 honors the ultimate sacrifice of Stuckey, who was the first police officer in Bucks County to be killed in the line of duty when he was shot to death March 29, 1972, along Bath Road while stopping suspected bank robbers.
“Forty-three years has neither eased the pain nor diminished his stature among law enforcement in Bucks County,” said state Sen. Tommy Tomlinson. “The honor could not be more deserved.”
“We are gratified that Detective Stuckey’s heroism and sacrifice will forever be remembered,” said state Rep. Tina Davis.
Act 3 names the stretch of Bath Road between U.S. Route 13 to Route 413 in honor of Stuckey, a seven-year veteran of the Bristol Township Police Force who had left a safe, secure job to become a police officer because he felt he was not contributing enough to society.
“His funeral was the largest ever in Bucks County, attended by an estimated 2,000 police officers,” Tomlinson said. “Thousands of citizens lined the highway leading to his services to pay their respects.”
“Newspaper coverage of the crime and ensuing trial noted that Detective Stuckey never talked about the dangers he faced while serving on the force,” Davis said. “The region was stunned beyond belief by the loss of the 33-year-old officer, who left behind a widow and two children.”
The convicted killer, William P. Alston, escaped from a prison in South Carolina in 1977 before being captured.
In 1980, while serving time at Graterford Prison, he disguised himself in Muslim garb, signed himself out and walked out the front gate after a religious service. He was free for 11 years before being captured in Tunisia, Africa.
Alston, now 67, is serving his life sentence at the State Correctional Institution at Somerset.
Tomlinson and Davis said a ceremony designating the road in Stuckey’s honor is being arranged. The state Department of Transportation will be responsible for erecting appropriate signage.
The legislation, which takes effect in 60 days, was passed unanimously in the state House and Senate.