Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, III, Badge # 71
Trooper-Pilot Berke Morgan Matthew Bates, Badge # 764
End of Watch: 8/12/17
Albemarle County/City of Charlottesville
Today and always, the Virginia State Police Family Remembers and Honors the Service and Dedication of Lieutenant-Pilot H. Jay Cullen, III, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M. M. Bates. On Saturday, August 12, 2017, Lieutenant Cullen and Trooper Bates were flying a Virginia State Police Bell 407 helicopter in support of troopers and law enforcement officers working on the ground to protect the citizens and visitors of Charlottesville during the 2017 "Unite The Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. They had been asked to surveil a potentially violent situation in Charlottesville when the helicopter crashed into a wooded area near a residence on Old Farm Road in Albemarle County. Lieutenant Cullen and Trooper Bates succumbed to their injuries as a result of the crash becoming the 64th and 65th Virginia State Police Troopers to give the ultimate sacrifice while performing their official law enforcement duties.
Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, the Superintendent of the Virginia State Police when this tragic event occurred, said “Our state police and law enforcement family at-large are mourning this tragic outcome to an already challenging day. Lieutenant Cullen was a highly-respected professional aviator and Trooper-Pilot Bates was a welcome addition to the Aviation Unit, after a distinguished assignment as a special agent with our Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Their deaths are a tremendous loss to our agency and the Commonwealth.”
Lieutenant Cullen graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in May 1994 as a member of the 90th Basic Session. He first joined the Virginia State Police Aviation Unit in 1999. Lieutenant Cullen was survived by his wife and two sons.
Trooper-Pilot Bates graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in August 2004 as a member of the 107th Basic Session. He had just transferred to the Aviation Unit as a Trooper-Pilot in July. Trooper-Pilot Bates was survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, III, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M. M. Bates are both Virginia Heroes for the way they lived and served. Their memories live and their service to the Commonwealth of Virginia stands tall as an inspiration for us all to follow.
To honor Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, III, the Virginia State Police Association shares HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 309.
To honor Trooper-Pilot Berke M. M. Bates, the Virginia State Police Association shares HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 177
Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families.
Rest In Peace Troopers
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