Fallen officers to be honored

Posted: Monday, May 14, 2001

Law enforcers from across the Kenai Peninsula will gather Tuesday in Soldotna for National Police Officers' Memorial Day.

Soldotna Police Chief Shirley Warner said 33 Alaska police officers have died in the line of duty since statehood. During a ceremony beginning Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Soldotna Police Department, officers will read their names, what departments they were with and how they died. Officers will place a red rose for each of the 33 and a white rose to symbolize those still living.

Warner said she also expects a proclamation from Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey.

Alaska State Troopers, Fish and Wildlife Protection troopers, and police from Soldotna, Kenai, Seward, Homer and possibly Seldovia are expected to attend.

May 15 has been National Police Officers' Memorial Day and the week including it has been National Police Week since President John F. Kennedy signed the law creating them in October 1962.

Warner said Soldotna police will commemorate the week by wearing black bands on their badges.

Gov. Tony Knowles has proclaimed May 15 Law Enforcement Memorial Day.

"Law enforcement duties require great sacrifice on the part of law enforcement officers and their families," Knowles wrote. "Those duties often present great personal risk. Law enforcement officers serve the public every hour of every day of the year. They have been selected, trained and entrusted to be the peacekeepers of our communities.

"Law enforcement officers across Alaska join with us in paying special tribute to the 33 Alaska law enforcement officers who, since statehood, have given their lives in service to the people of Alaska while in the line of duty."

Knowles encourages all citizens to pause to remember the brave men and women "who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of law enforcement, and those who so bravely chose this way of life to defend the rights and safety of our residents."

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