Council declares May 12-18 National Police Week
StoryThe Metropolitan King County Council today joined municipalities across the country in proclaiming May 12–18 National Police Week in recognition of those men and women who have fallen in the line of duty.
“It is an honor to take part in this recognition and pay tribute our fallen heroes,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn, the sponsor of the proclamation. “The men and women of law enforcement deserve our utmost respect and gratitude for all they do.”
“I have a special connection to law enforcement because of my dad’s role as a Captain in the San Francisco Police Department when I was growing up. I also appreciate, as Chair of the Law, Justice, Health & Human Services Committee, knowing all the roles the Sheriff’s deputies serve in our communities,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “I know that the sacrifices made by both the officers and their families are many – sometimes including, unfortunately, the ultimate sacrifice. It is entirely fitting to honor all those who serve and to thank them for their service.”
“Just last week, the public was reminded about the dangerous nature of police work,” said Sheriff John Urquhart referring to the recent shooting in Skyway with deputies present. “My deputies and I recognize and honor with the utmost respect those who have fallen in the line of duty.”
Police Week was created in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“It is only fitting to honor those protecting the public, and recognize the families that support them,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague. “Our heartfelt thanks to these men and women who put their lives on the line every day to serve us and protect us and our thanks to the families who share them with us.”
“The women and men working in law enforcement serve a unique role in protecting our communities,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett. “This week is an opportunity to thank them for their service and remember those officers who have given their lives in that service.”
“Every day, our local police officers willingly put their lives on the line to protect our communities,” said Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer. “By recognizing those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, we are able to honor these heroes, as well as all police officers, for their commitment and dedication to our public safety.”
King County is home to nearly 3,100 commissioned law enforcement personnel who serve and protect the residents and businesses of 39 cities, the Port of Seattle, three Tribal governments, the University of Washington and the 250,000 residents of unincorporated King County.
In 1853, Deputy Wesley Cherry was the first recorded law enforcement death in King County. A total of 95 King County-based law enforcement personnel have made the ultimate sacrifice, with 16 of these officers being members of the King County Sheriff’s Office.
There are approximately 900,000 law enforcement officers serving in communities across the United States. The first recorded death took place in 1791, and since that time almost 20,000 law enforcement officers in the United States have died in the line of duty.
As part of the yearly celebration of Police Week, the names of officers lost in the line of duty are added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.
This year, two officers from Washington State will be added to the memorial: Washington State Patrol member Sean O’Connell, Jr and Deputy James Franklin Chatfield of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office who passed away in 1921. Patrolman O’Connell’s name was also added to the Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial in Olympia on May 2.
In 2013 the Metropolitan King County Council unanimously passed legislation to study the creation of a King County Sheriff’s Office memorial. The memorial is now in the planning stages and a design is being chosen for eventual installation in the King County Courthouse.
WHEREAS, National Police Week takes place on May 12-18 this year; and
WHEREAS, approximately 900,000 law enforcement officers serve in communities across the nation, and thus far in 2014, 38 brave officers have fallen in the line of duty; and
WHEREAS, nearly 3,100 members of law enforcement serve in King County, including the King County Sheriff’s Office; and
WHEREAS, since the first recorded law enforcement death in King County, of Deputy Wesley Cherry in 1853, 95 county-based officers have made the ultimate sacrifice, with 16 of these being members of the King County Sheriff’s Office; and
WHEREAS, the names of these dedicated local public servants are engraved on the Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial in Olympia, as well as on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.; and
WHEREAS, fallen heroes are added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., each year, and this year, the names of two officers from Washington State were added—Washington State Patrol member Sean O’Connell, Jr., and Deputy James Franklin Chatfield of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, who passed away in 1921; and
WHEREAS, Patrolman Sean O’Connell, Jr.’s name was also added to the Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial on May 2; and
WHEREAS, in 2013, the Metropolitan King County Council unanimously supported the creation of a King County Sheriff’s Office memorial, and a design is currently being chosen for eventual installation in the King County Courthouse;
NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Metropolitan King County Council, hereby proclaim May 12-18, 2014, as
in King County and salute the service of law enforcement officers in our community and in communities across the nation.
DATED this twelfth day of May, 2014.