In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Law enforcement agencies around the world spend this week recognizing the contribution of officers who serve their communities each day, as well as honoring and remembering those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Typically, there are numerous events throughout Mesa County to recognize this week. We host Coffee with a Cop events. Our Honor Guard presents a formal flag ceremony. There is always a ton of food around, and we have several events that are intended to raise money for the Special Olympics of Colorado. This year is obviously much different. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be a very quiet week. And that is okay with us. It will allow us to focus on what the week is truly about; honoring law enforcement around the world who have been killed while serving their communities.
According to the Office Down Memorial Page, there were 146 line of duty deaths in the United States last year. Three of those officers were from Colorado; Sergeant Joshua Eli Voth, of the Colorado Department of Corrections; Corporal Daniel H. Groves, of the Colorado State Patrol; Master Trooper William James Moden, of the Colorado State Patrol.
Often, during this week, we have local businesses and community members who want to thank their officers by providing food or cards. While we are so grateful for that kindness, this year we would encourage that generosity to be directed toward any of the local agencies who are helping our community in recovery efforts from this crisis.
If you’d like to recognize our officers this week, as well as honor those who have given their lives in service, consider putting a blue light bulb in your porch light. Put a sign in your window, thanking officers for their service. Share a wave or a kind word when you see an officer out on patrol. If you drive by the Police Department, you’ll see our banner hanging outside. It’s lovely at night, when it’s lit up by blue lights.
Next year, we’ll hopefully be able to come together again to honor all who have dedicated their lives to this profession. This year, we hope you’ll join us in a humble remembrance of all those who have gone before us.