Hero Down: Fruitland Police Officer Spencer Wiersberg Succumbs To Rare Cancer
Fruitland, MD – Fruitland Police Department (FPD) Officer Spencer Wiersberg died peacefully at his family’s home on Jan. 12, following a courageous 10-month cancer battle.
The 23-year-old officer was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, in March of 2019, according to his obituary.
His friends, family, and community rallied around him in the wake of his diagnosis, holding fundraisers and posting updates through his family’s Facebook page, the Wiersberg Warriors.
On Jan. 5, Officer Wiersberg was readmitted to the hospital due to severe shoulder and hip pain, the Salisbury Independent reported.
Doctors determined that the cancer had spread to the point that treatment was no longer possible, Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis said.
Officer Wiersberg decided that he wanted to go home, so Fruitland Police Chief Brian Swafford sent out a text message to everyone in the department to see if anyone was able to help provide an escort for the officer and his family.
“We need to go get our boy,” the chief told his officers.
Every single member of the force showed up, the Salisbury Independent reported.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share the news of Spencer's passing,” Officer Wiersberg’s family wrote on the morning of Jan. 12. “He was a hometown hero, beloved brother and cherished son…Thank you to all for the tireless support you have shown Spencer and his family.”
Officer Wiersberg, a former McDaniel College football player, earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice before he joined the FPD, according to his obituary.
He graduated from the Eastern Shore Criminal Justice Academy in June of 2018.
“From the time he was a young boy, Spencer was recognized as remarkable because of the purity of his heart and because he was an ‘old soul’ who vigilantly protected all those he loved,” the tribute read. “In his all too brief career, having a great sense of who he was, his calling in this life, and knowing the value of his family name, Spencer committed himself to protecting and serving his community with integrity, certitude, humility, and an attention to detail that are rare and remarkable.”
Officer Wiersberg, the son of a law enforcement officer, was the youngest officer to ever serve the FPD.
“He was just an amazing kid,” Chief Swafford told the Salisbury Independent. “He was born to do this.”
During his short career, he was named as the FPD’s Officer of the Year, received two Mothers Against Drunk Driving awards, and was the recipient of Maryland’s State DWI Enforcement Award, according to his obituary.
“Spencer, the person he was, and the way in which he led his life, as a true warrior, has served as inspiration for our entire community,” the tribute read. “Spencer knew well that he was not fighting alone. For this, Spencer’s family is eternally grateful.”
Officer Wiersberg leaves behind his mother, Gerrie, his father, Wicomico County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Rich Wiersberg, and his sister, Samantha, as well has his grandparents and many extended family members.
“He was a precious kid,” Sheriff Lewis told the Salisbury Independent. “I loved that boy. I absolutely loved him.”
He will be laid to rest on Saturday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Fruitland Police Department Officer Spencer Wiersberg, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.