Again this year, the City of Fort Morgan will join communities across the United States as they come together during National Police Week — May 13-19 — to honor and remember those law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as the family members, friends and fellow officers they left behind.
This year, the names of 362 officers killed in the line of duty are being added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. These include 163 officers who were killed during 2011, plus 199 officers who died in previous years but whose stories of sacrifice had been lost to history until now.
The fallen officers include two members of the law enforcement community in Fort Morgan. Officer Fred Rehmer, who was killed in the line of duty on Dec. 18, 1982, and Marshal Charles P. Eyser. who was killed Sept. 30, 1916, both gave their lives to protect and serve the community of Fort Morgan. These fallen law enforcement officers will be remembered during Police Week services.
“Sadly, this reality lies at the core of the law enforcement profession,” said Fort Morgan Police Chief Keith Kuretich. “It has been said that once the badge goes on it never comes off. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of these families, and these fellow police officers are not far from our minds.”
Police week events scheduled in Fort Morgan include:
? Tuesday, May 15, 8:30 a.m. - Fort Morgan Peace Officers' Memorial Service. The Memorial Service will be held on the South front of the Fort Morgan Police Department building at 901 E. Beaver Ave. Several city officials will be presenting and Thornton Police Officer Charles Marting will play the bagpipes at the Wreath Laying Ceremony. The public is welcome to attend.
? Tuesday, May 15, 6:00 p.m. - The Honorable Mayor Terry McAlister will present a Police Week Proclamation to the Fort Morgan Police Department, followed by the annual Civilian and Police Commendation Ceremony, during the Fort Morgan City Council Regular Meeting at Historic City Hall, 110 Main St. The public is invited.
? Wednesday, May 16 - Fort Morgan Police Chaplaincy Ride-Along.
? Thursday, May 17, 6:00-8:30 a.m. - Police Department and City Officials Appreciation Breakfast.
The names of all 362 fallen officers nationwide will be formally dedicated on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington during the 24th Annual Candlelight Vigil on the evening of May 13. So that people across the country can experience this unique and powerful ceremony, the vigil will be webcast live over the Internet beginning at 8 p.m. (EDT) on May 13. To register for this free online event, visit www.LawMemorial.org/webcast.
The Candlelight Vigil is one of many commemorative events taking place in the nation’s capital during National Police Week 2012. The national observance is organized by a group of organizations led by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), Concerns of Police Survivors, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary.
Final data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund show that for the 14th year in a row, traffic fatalities were the leading cause of officer fatalities, with 163 officers killed in the line of duty — an increase of 7 percent from 2010.
For more information about National Police Week, please visit www.LawMemorial.org/policeweek.