- The Washington Times - Monday, May 23, 2005

He was an ordinary citizen who found his passion in volunteer police work after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

At his funeral yesterday, Officer Joseph Pozell was remembered as a friend who was unselfish with his time.

It was his work as a reserve police officer that cost Officer Pozell his life. He was hit by a car on May 14 while doing what he enjoyed most.

Dressed in his blue uniform and yellow-and-black gloves, Officer Pozell was directing traffic through one of the busiest intersections in the District. He died three days later.

“Joe was a great conductor because he managed to forge order out of chaos,” D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams told mourners at Washington National Cathedral.

Mr. Williams — who interrupted a West Coast business trip to return for the service — praised Officer Pozell’s dedication and efforts, which helped move traffic regularly through the center of Georgetown’s business district.

It was at the intersection of M Street and Wisconsin Avenue NW that Officer Pozell was struck by a sport utility vehicle. Police investigators said Officer Pozell, 59, accidentally stepped into traffic.

“There’s not a tougher intersection anywhere in the city,” said Metropolitan Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, who called Officer Pozell’s style of traffic direction “a thing of beauty.”

“My husband was a fortunate man,” said Officer Pozell’s widow, Ella, adding that the outpouring of concern from police officers and citizens has made her understand why her husband appreciated his volunteer police work so much.

She urged people to preserve his memory by helping those in need, like the homeless men he often befriended on the streets.

Those words drew a standing ovation and cheers from the more than 1,500 mourners who filled the cathedral.

A volunteer in life, Officer Pozell received full police honors in death. Officers from Metro Transit Police, the Maryland State Police, the U.S. Capitol Police and other law-enforcement agencies joined Metropolitan Police colleagues at the service.

Officer Pozell’s badge will be retired officially at a ceremony next month.

He is the first unpaid reservist to join 110 other Metropolitan Police Department officers who have died in the line of duty.

Officer Pozell was a familiar face in Georgetown long before he became a reserve officer.

As director of Oak Hill Cemetery, at 38th and R streets NW, he often volunteered his time for various community causes.

“Joe was always there when the projects needed to be done and the hard work needed to be done,” said D.C. Council member Jack Evans, a Democrat whose Ward 2 includes Georgetown.

He said it was Officer Pozell who suggested that a bench honoring Mr. Evans’ late wife, Noel, be placed in Oak Hill Cemetery after her burial in Minnesota in 2003 so that his young children would have a place to reflect on her memory.

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