- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 18, 2005

City flags will fly at half-staff in honor of the reserve D.C. police officer who died Tuesday, three days after he was struck by a car while directing traffic in Georgetown, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams said yesterday.

Officer Joseph Pozell, a three-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department, also will get a full police funeral, appropriate for someone who died in the line of duty, Mr. Williams said.

“Joe is someone who exemplifies the ideal of public service,” Mr. Williams said. “He worked in his community in his regular job, and in addition he volunteered with the police department in his spare time.”

Officer Pozell, 59, was struck by a Honda CR-V Saturday afternoon when the vehicle, driven by a 19-year-old Northern Virginia woman, was starting out from a green light, going north on Wisconsin Avenue and turning left onto westbound M Street.

Officer Pozell was taken to the George Washington University Hospital, where he was admitted in critical condition. He was taken off life support at about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, after relatives — including his 13 siblings — made their way to the District.

Investigators with the police department’s Major Crash Investigations Unit determined that Officer Pozell stepped back into the path of the oncoming Honda CR-V. The case was reviewed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which declined to press charges against the driver, Julia R. Matthews, of McLean.

“It’s a true loss, not only to the department, but to the community at large,” said Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey. “I don’t think he anticipated or that he was aware of the impact he had on so many people and the officers he worked with in the 2nd District.”

Officer Pozell managed the Oak Hill Cemetery in Northwest and lived on the property with his wife of nearly 30 years, Ella. Mr. Pozell also had an adult son.

Police said Officer Pozell had volunteered on many weeknights for nearly 18 months to help ease congestion during rush hour in Georgetown.

William Starrels, an advisory neighborhood commissioner in Georgetown, awarded Officer Pozell a commendation in March 2004. The commendation, on behalf of ANC 2E, is reserved for those who “go over and beyond their jobs and benefit the community as a whole.”

“He was deeply appreciated and liked by the community and everyone who passed through Georgetown,” Mr. Starrels said. He said he thought of Officer Pozell as he passed through the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and M Street last night.

“It was chaos, because Joe wasn’t there to keep it clear,” he said.

Hundreds of people, including Mr. Williams and Chief Ramsey, turned out at a candlelight vigil held in Georgetown Monday night in Officer Pozell’s honor. Mr. Williams said he and other city officials would also attend Officer Pozell’s funeral.

A viewing will be held at Oak Hill Cemetery between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday. Funeral services will be at the Washington National Cathedral at 10 a.m. Monday, with interment to follow at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Flags at Metropolitan Police Department facilities also will fly at half-staff and D.C. police officers will be authorized to wear black mourning bands over their badges.

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