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Parade Honors Hunters of Snipers

Police Chief Charles Moose is grand marshal of event in county where many victims lived.

November 24, 2002|From Associated Press

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose really doesn't like parades.

Still, he was persuaded to ride in a convertible Saturday, passing people wearing purple foam moose antlers and yelling his name, as grand marshal of a parade honoring the law enforcement agencies that hunted for the Washington-area snipers.

"He's the man," 12-year-old Johanna Cahill said as she watched Moose go by in a 1950s Cadillac. "He did a lot of good things for the community."

Moose dislikes parades so much that when he was chief in Portland, Ore., he stayed home when the city honored its police force in its annual Rose Festival parade.

Seven of the 13 people killed or wounded in the Washington area were Montgomery County residents or had ties to the county. It also was home to the sniper task force, a multi-agency team of thousands of police officers and federal agents.

But it was Moose the crowds came to see Saturday. He was mobbed by people who wanted to shake his hand and thank him after an interfaith service that preceded the parade.

"Ever since this event has come to closure, people have been demonstrating their support and love for the police department," Moose said.

John Allen Muhammad, 41, and Lee Boyd Malvo, 17, have been charged in the killings.

Several hundred people stood in the cold and wind to watch the parade, which included police cars from sniper task force agencies, high school bands, politicians and a turkey float for Thanksgiving.

Along the parade route, Irene Fergusen adjusted her antlers.

"I've read the whole story of Chief Moose's life," she said. "I'm happy we have him here. He's a wonderful person."

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