Knowing the right thing to say or do when someone is lost in an incident is always a challenge. Unfortunately, at PennDOT, this heartbreak has touched us many times. During my time as Secretary, we have lost five team members in the line of duty and I have seen and felt the impact that these losses have had on the PennDOT family.
I feel very strongly about honoring our fallen team members. This was also the theme of an
IdeaLink submission from Christopher Kapitan Jr. and Arlan Thomas, two team members in District 9, who suggested a graphic to honor these employees. Recently, more than 3,000 PennDOT employees took part in choosing a logo to honor our fallen colleagues. I am very pleased that so many team members helped choose the attached memorial logo, which was the clear preference of those who took the survey.
Based off the existing PennDOT logo, this black-and-white Keystone symbolizes the tragedy of our losses, while the stripe invokes the importance of safety and remembrance. The logo can be found for download in our
work zone awareness media center, along with other important graphics promoting work zone safety.
In addition to the logo, the department is beginning an initiative on our social media channels — Facebook,
Instagram — to publicly honor our fallen employees by posting about them on the date that they lost their lives in the line of duty. My hope is that we never have to use this newly selected logo beyond these posts and its use on our memorial page,
I want to take this opportunity to, once again, thank all PennDOT's employees for their service to the department.