DSCR employees gather to honor officers during National Police Week

By Cathy Hopkins DLA Aviation Public Affairs

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Remembering the nation’s fallen law enforcement officers is always a sober, yet thankful occasion.

Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, employees gathered May 17 in the Frank B. Lotts Conference Center on DSCR during National Police Week, to remember and give thanks for the protective service given by past and current officers and those officers who lost their lives in service.

Defense Logistics Agency Installation Operations at Richmond Police Captain David Alexander served as the master of ceremonies and welcomed all to include community partners from the Virginia State, Chesterfield County, Petersburg and Colonial Heights Police Departments.

Alexander shared the history of National Police Week with event attendees, saying the week of May 15 was designated as National Police Week by President John F. Kennedy in 1962.  More than 20,000 names are carved on the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. to appreciate the ultimate sacrifices of these brave men and women.  Each year, more than 100 names are added to the memorial.  According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, in the United States, on average, one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty every 58 hours.

Alexander then welcomed DLA Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Linda Hurry to the podium.

Hurry also shared some sobering statistics from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, website: there have been 53 law enforcement officer fatalities since the beginning of this year, 28 of those deaths caused by gunfire.

She went on to applaud the professionalism of the center’s Police Department, highlighting their recognition as the DLA Police Department of the Year in 2011, 2014 and 2017 as well as recognizing two of our own achieved DLA Lead Officer of the year for two years in a row, in 2014 then  sergeant, now Capt.  Adam Morris and in 2015, Officer Dorsey Kimbrell. 

“This is dangerous work; yet, you do it with pride, dignity and respect,” she said.  “You serve at a great personal sacrifice with time spent away from your families on holidays and special occasions. Thank you for all you do to keep our installation and community safe.”

Hurry closed by introducing the guest speaker, Capt. Steven Chumley, Division 1 commander at the Virginia State Police Headquarters in Richmond, saying DSCR has tremendous partnerships with the neighboring departments.

Chumley’s law enforcement career spans more than 30 years of service to date and he became a police officer to protect and service.

“Thank you for the opportunity to be here today. It is truly an honor and blessing for me to be here today,” Chumley said.

He shared a story from David Grossman’s book On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace describing the wolf, sheep and sheep dog.  He said the wolf represents evil people feeding on the sheep in the world; the sheep, people without the capacity for violence; then, the sheep dogs, who live to protect the flock. The sheep dogs are law enforcement officers, with the capacity for violence who have a deep love for fellow citizens and live to protect the flock.

The sheep like to pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheep dogs, the warriors, live for that day, they want to be there to make a difference and help others, he said.

Following Chumney’s remarks, DLA Police Lt. Bradley McCoy shared the significance and meaning of the Table of Honor present at the ceremony to represent fallen officers and DLA Police Capt. Ernest Clayborn shared his personnel reflections on being a police officer.

The ceremony concluded with a moment of silence and Petersburg Police Officer Greer Fullerton playing Amazing Grace on the bagpipe.