SPRINGFIELD, MO (05/18/17) - Today, folks came out to honor men and women across the united states who died in the line of duty.
“Protecting their neighbors, protecting their families, protecting their friends, and protecting us," says attorney general Josh Hawley.
Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week is an observance in the U.S. that pays tribute to the local, state, and federal peace officers who have died, or have been disabled in the line of duty.
“Remember, reflect, and prayerfully consider not just those who have done that, but kind of a time to pray for everybody who goes out and does this job on a daily basis," says Springfield chief of police Paul Williams.
Williams says being a police officer is dangerous and it takes a brave individual to put on the uniform every day.
Nationally, 144 officers have died in the line of duty last year. And two of them, were here in Missouri. And according to the Officers Memorial Fund that’s the most deaths that we’ve seen in the past five years.
Williams says, “Last year was a really dangerous year for law enforcement. In a long time, in my 30 plus years, more officers have died from gun fire and being attacked by people simply because they were police officers than we’ve ever seen.”
Now the question is, how do officers protect themselves? Williams says officers are going through additional training and have the support of the community.
And reminding folks that they are there to help protect and serve instead of harm could possibly stop another officer killing.
“Their sacrifice is a solemn reminder that the rule of law is not an easy thing," says Hawley.
Williams says he hopes having the annual Peace Officers Memorial Day will let The Ozarks and the rest of the state know the officers are here to help you even when they are in danger.