Richmond, Va., May 17, 2017 —
It was a somber audience who gathered at the Frank B. Lotts Conference Center at Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, May 11 for a ceremony honoring fallen law enforcement officers. The ceremony was in conjunction with National Police Week which occurs annually in May.
The 87th U.S. Congress issued a joint resolution in 1962 which authorized the President to proclaim May 15 of each year as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week of each year during which such May 15 occurs as Police Week.
The resolution recognizes “the police officers of America have worked devotedly and selflessly on behalf of the people of this Nation, regardless of the peril or hazard to themselves …”
Capt. George Razor, a police watch commander with DLA Installation Support at Richmond, served as the master of ceremonies.
Razor began the ceremony by sharing two grave statistics with the audience. He said, each year more than 100 names are added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, District of Columbia.
“According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, in the United States, on average, every 58 hours, one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty,” he said.
DLA Installation Support at Richmond Chief of Police Chad Tearne then took the podium welcoming guests and saying, “It has been a challenging year in law enforcement, when almost every night you turn on the TV and another officer has been killed in the line of duty.”
He went on to say police officers elect to serve each day, knowing they may not come home that day.
Tearne then introduced 46-year law enforcement veteran, retired Chesterfield County Sheriff Dennis Proffit, who served as the ceremony guest speaker. Proffit retired as sheriff in 2014.
“My first job was as a police dispatcher with Henrico County, Virginia, police department. The 1960s – 1970s were turbulent times for police officers with riots in the streets,” he said. “This profession believes in right and wrong and believes it is their duty to protect all and make the ultimate sacrifice.
“Today’s force carries the same spirit as those serving back in the ‘60s and ‘70s,” he said. “Be proud of them and this profession. Our profession weathered the storms of the 1960s and we will weather the storms of today. You are the peacekeepers of this country. God bless you.”
Following Proffit, DLA Police Officer Sgt. Bradley McCoy highlighted the Table of Honor on the stage representing fallen officers and explained its significance to those gathered.
DLA Police Watch Commander Capt. Adam Morris offered a reflective poem, “It’s not the Glory” and DLA Police Shift Supervisor Lt. Hanif Granville recited the “Law Enforcement Memorial Prayer.”
The ceremony concluded with a moment of silence during which Virginia State Police Trooper Sgt. Mike McCann performed “Amazing Grace” on bagpipes.