Hope Harrington Oakes
Columbus and Lowndes County recently honored the men and women who, as officers of the law, have given of themselves in the line of duty. National Police Week, May 14-20, 2017 was commemorated across the country with ceremonies that included a Candlelight Vigil, Peace Officer Memorial Service and a Prayer Breakfast.
This year, the names of 394 officers killed in the line of duty are being added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. These 394 officers include 143 officers who were killed in 2016, plus 251 officers who died in previous years, but whose stories of sacrifice had been lost to history until now. All fallen law enforcement officers were remembered during Police Week services held at the Columbus Police Department during the 2017 National Police Week. CPD Chaplain Fred Shelton stated, “We are thankful that our memorial has no names on it. We pray for those departments that do.”
On May 15th each year, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary host a ceremony on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol to honor fallen law enforcement officers and their families. In tribute to American law enforcement officers and at the request of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Public Law 103-322 designates May 15th National Peace Officers Memorial Day, which is one of only two days each year during which government agencies, businesses and residents are to fly their U.S. flags at half-staff. For more information about National Police Week events occurring locally, contact CPD Chaplain Frederick Shelton at 662-364-1829 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.