National memorial to add fallen Tosa officer Jennifer Sebena's name

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National memorial to add fallen Tosa officer Jennifer Sebena's name

By Charles Benson. CREATED Apr 2, 2013 - UPDATED: Apr 3, 2013

Scroll through the media gallery above for TODAY'S TMJ4's continuing coverage of her murder case.

MILWAUKEE - A police officer murdered on the job will be memorialized at a national monument.

The National Law Enforcement Memorial decided Wednesday morning to add fallen Wauwatosa Police officer Jennifer Sebena's name, according to the Wisconsin Professional Police Association's Facebook Page.

"We think her service and sacrifice are very deserving," said WPPA Executive Director Jim Palmer to TODAY'S TMJ4.

"It should not matter who took her life.  It should only matter that she died in the line of duty."

"I am very pleased with the decision made today by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund," said Police Chief Barry Weber in a statement.

"I believe the correct decision was made. Jennifer Sebena’s name belongs on the memorial wall in Washington D.C. Her sacrifice should not be forgotten and will not be forgotten. I thank everyone who has been supportive of our department. I was confident the right decision would ultimately be made. And it was."

Her name will go up in mid-May.

Supporters of officer Sebena have fought to make it happen.

There's been a lot of outrage since Sebena's name was initially not included in this national honor.

Palmer hoped to be one of 15 votes to end the uncertainty about honoring Jennifer Sebena.

"We think that her service and sacrifice are very deserving," said Palmer.

Sebena was killed during her third shift on Christmas Eve. Her husband, Ben Sebena, was charged with murder.

The National Law Enforcement Memorial initially did not want to include her name because she was killed in a domestic violence act.

Wisconsin officers were outraged by the omission. So was the Sojourner Family Peace Center, a nonprofit that helps domestic violence victims.

"I think it gives a bad message to survivors and to the community," Carmen Pitre, Executive Director of the Sojourner Family Peace Center .

"So I think they have a chance to rectify that and to say that this matters that her life mattered and her public service mattered.

Palmer says he would make the case Wednesday for Sebena to be honored. He knows others names have been added to the memorial for similar situations, and he was optimistic the board would do the right thing.

"It should not matter who took her life. It should only matter that she died in the line of duty," said Palmer.

Palmer says the vote was unanimous.

He knows Sebena's family has been through a lot and he wanted this part of the story to end with Jennifer's name on that memorial.

Charles Benson

Charles Benson

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Charles Benson is one of the most reliable, trusted and experienced reporters in southeast Wisconsin. If there's a big story going on, Charles is usually there leading the way.