Local residents are invited to the Peace Officers Memorial service beginning at 8:30 Thursday morning, May 12, at the McPherson Cemetery.
The service honors fallen law enforcement officers who have given the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our communities.
McPherson's Police Chief Robert McClarty addressed the McPherson city commissioners to invite city officials and the entire community to Thursday's Memorial service and to officially proclaim next week as Law Enforcement Week in the city of McPherson.
“The National Peace Officers Memorial Day was established in 1961 to recognize local, state and federal law enforcement officials that have fallen in the line of duty,” Chief McClarty said, outlining some of the history of the event.
“Then in 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week.
“As in years past, the City of McPherson and the McPherson Police Department also recognize National Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week.”
Chief McClarty continued by providing some sobering statistics for recent causes of death for our nation's police officers.
“This year has again shown to be a very deadly year for our nation's peace officers. To date in 2016, we have seen 32 line of duty deaths. The primary contributing factors have been, 16 of those by violent gunfire, up 167 percent this year.” Chief McClarty then paused a moment to allow time for those listening to absorb the enormity of that increase before continuing.
“And 14 percent vehicle-related deaths, down 13 percent, with one heart attack and one accidental gunfire.”
The McPherson Police Department will be conducting the Peace Officers Memorial service 8:30 Thursday morning at the McPherson Cemetery. The local community is welcome and encouraged to attend to help honor those fallen officers who dedicated their lives to the protection of our communities.