Contractor, retired Lower Windsor officer, dies from fall

Christopher Dornblaser

A 62-year-old Dallastown man, a retired Lower Windsor Township Police officer and self-employed contractor, died after falling two stories in Dover, according to the York County Coroner's Office.

Retired Lower Windsor Township Police Officer Merle Shirey died Wednesday after falling two stories in Dover, according to the York County Coroner's Office.

Merle Shirey, of Locust Hill Road, died about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at York Hospital after suffering severe head and spine injuries on the 2900 block of Sky Top Trail, the coroner's report states.

The scaffolding Shirey was on gave way about 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, according to the report, and he was flown to York Hospital soon after the incident.

Police officer: Lower Windsor Township Police Chief Tim Caldwell recalled Shirey as a man who was well-known in the community. Caldwell, who started with the department in December 1997, worked with Shirey until he retired for health reasons in November 1998.

“He cared very deeply about his community,” the chief said.

Caldwell said Shirey worked at many events during his career and made an effort to meet the people in his community. He said Shirey would watch local soccer, Little League and football games, and people got to know him.

“(Shirey) was very well-liked by people he came in contact with,” he said.

Shirey was a K-9 officer, according to Caldwell.

“There’s a lot of dedication that goes into having a K-9,” Caldwell said, adding that a K-9 officer could work many extra hours just training the dog, all in addition to his normal workweek.

“That would kind of indicate what kind of man Merle Shirey was,” he said.

Legacy: Caldwell said Shirey started with the department when it was created in 1984 after coming over from the Dallastown Police Department.

In the nearly 20 years since his retirement, Shirey still maintained contact with the department. Caldwell said Shirey stopped by the department about once a year to say hi to everyone.

Caldwell said he was surprised to hear what had happened to him.

"My heart goes out to his family, and I hope that they will be able to move on from this."

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.