County honors fallen officers, commemorates Peace Officers Memorial Day


Thurston County commemorated Peace Officers Memorial Day, a solemn occasion dedicated to honoring law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

At its meeting on May 21, the Board of County Commissioners officially dedicated May 15 as a day of remembrance, first proclaimed by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, which falls within National Police Week, observed from May 9-15.

Thurston County Sheriff Derek Sanders, addressing the county's Board of Commissioners, underscored the significance of this observance amidst ongoing challenges.

"It's just me today," Sheriff Sanders began. "Thank you for moving this up. We have a barricaded murder suspect that we're dealing with right now, so I'm the only one that you're going to get today. How fitting that our staff and other staff across the county are out dealing with a very dangerous situation. We hope that resolves itself peacefully."

Sheriff Sanders expressed his gratitude for the Board's public recognition of fallen officers, reflecting on the continued risks faced by law enforcement.

"I appreciate the board taking the time for remembrance of those who came before us and fell in the line of duty. It's something that I think about often. Right here in our own county is where the law enforcement memorial is. Anyone is free to stop by that Memorial and see just how big that wall is and how the names continue to grow," he said.

 "Thankfully, in recent years, we've seen kind of a dip in law enforcement fatalities. But again, it always seems to be something that rears its ugly head every once in a while."

The official proclamation from the Board of County Commissioners highlighted the nationwide effort to honor America's law enforcement community, noting the sobering statistics that underscore the dangers officers face.

 "It is known that every 57 hours an American law enforcement officer will be killed in the line of duty somewhere in the United States, and 136 officers will be seriously assaulted in the performance of their duties," the proclamation states.

"Our community joins with other cities and counties to honor those who are Noble Peace Officers everywhere."

The proclamation also acknowledged the sacrifices made by the families of fallen officers and the essential role that law enforcement plays in maintaining community safety.


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