Pikes Peak region Peace Officers' Memorial Day service on Friday

Posted May 19, 2017

The peace officer memorial was held at Indian Spring Park Thursday morning. The service is taking part at 11025 Voyager Parkway in Colorado Springs.

Enacted by Congress in 1962, it is marked each May 15 "in honor of peace officers who, through their courageous deeds, lost their lives or became disabled in the line of duty". Officer Gregory Barney of the Riverdale Police Department and the Deputy United States Marshal Patrick Carothers.

Spearfish Police Chief Pat Rotert, in his 27th year of law enforcement, 17 of which have taken place in Spearfish, described that he has never worked with a better group of officers than those in the department.

Carved on these walls are the names of more than 20,000 officers who have been killed in the line of duty throughout USA history, dating back to the first known death in 1791. "Only they really know the feeling of what it's like to see you leave for duty, wondering if you will ever return".

"It's a duty and a responsibility for law enforcement agencies, as well as the community, to remember the sacrifice of the officers who did give their lives and service to the community, as well as the families that are left behind". While thankfully fairly rare, these especially heinous murders illustrate the pall of danger that hangs over law enforcement officers each day. "Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line each day to protect us".

Authorizes the National Computer Forensics Institute to disseminate homeland security information related to the investigation and prevention of cyber and electronic crime and related threats, and educate, train, and equip State, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges.

From Undersheriff James Thompson, who died July 1, 1878, of sunstroke after falling ill following the pursuit - for 60 miles, on horseback, in 100-degree heat - of an escaped county jail inmate, to Sgt. Robert Heinle, who died in February 2010 almost 12 years after being paralyzed from the neck down when he was shot during a downtown chase, every name on the wall was recognized, remembered and honored. It was first observed in the early 1960s and signed into law by President Kennedy.

The department was budgeted past year to have 99 total officers, but as of April, even with the 20 new hires, it has just 81 on the force - not counting six who are unfit for duty for personal reasons.