Police Memorial Ceremony held in Daleville

BY Jan Murray jmurray@southeastsun.com

Police Memorial Ceremony held in Daleville
“I am the police, and I'm here to arrest you. You've broken the law. I did not write the law. I may even disagree with the law but I will enforce it. No matter how you plead, cajole, beg or attempt to stir my sympathies, nothing you do will stop me from placing you in a steel cage with gray bars. If you run away I will chase you. If you fight me, I will fight back. If you shoot at me, I will shoot back. By law I am unable to walk away. I am a consequence.“I am the unpaid bill. I am fate with a badge and a gun. Behind my badge is a heart like yours. I bleed, I think, I love and yes, I can be killed. And although I am but one man, I have thousands of brothers and sisters who are the same as me. They will lay down their lives for me, and I them. We stand watch together. The thin blue line, protecting the prey from the predators, the good from the bad. We are the police.”That quote from “End of Watch,” a 2012 crime drama, was part of a video presentation at the annual Peace Officer’s Memorial Ceremony held Friday, May 13, in Daleville.“Without their sacrifices there would be no justice,” Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Maj. Charles Ward told dozens of citizens, officials and law enforcement officers at the ceremony held by the Daleville Police Department at the city’s Cultural and Convention Center.Officers from Ozark, Fort Rucker, Daleville and the Dale County Sheriff’s Office attended the ceremony honoring peace officers. The Patriot Riders erected honor flags in front of the facility and stood in honor for the entire ceremony.May 15 is Peace Officers Memorial Day and is part of National Police Week nationwide. Mayor Claudia Wigglesworth read a proclamation proclaiming the week of May 15-21 as Police Week in the city.The Daleville Police Department Honor Guard placed a ceremonial wreath at the head of the room in memory of all officers lost.So far in 2016, 35 officers have died, said Ward, and in 2015, 128 men and women were killed—four of those in Alabama.“It is important for us, as Alabamians, and as Americans, to reflect and remember those law enforcement officers that have paid the ultimate sacrifice to serve and protect our community,” he said. “We can never repay our debt to these officers and their families, but we must do what we can with all that we have to live our lives in a way that pays tribute to their memory.”Ward went on to say that the fallen’s legacy should never be forgotten. To the families of the fallen, he said, “We are deeply sorry for their loss…We want them to know how deeply grateful we are for their loved one’s sacrifice.”The veteran police officer challenged the law officials to live up to their pledge and not be wrongly influenced by the deeds of a few in the field who have acted inappropriately. “I challenge you not to let a small percentage of misdeeds by officers in law enforcement cause you to waiver…I challenge you to come out here every single day and give your all…”To the citizens, Ward said, “May I challenge you to help us be great law enforcement officers…I encourage you to encourage everybody to support your law enforcement officers, to encourage your law enforcement officers.


”Members of the Daleville Police Department’s Honor Guard placed a wreath during last week’s Police Memorial Ceremony in the city. Several law enforcement agencies were represented at the ceremony. Honor Guard members are, from left, Chris Blocker, Stacey Austin, Seth Fitts and Thomas Mason.

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