Council declares May 10-16 National Police Week
The Metropolitan King County Council today joined municipalities across the country in proclaiming May 10–16 National Police Week in recognition of those men and women who have fallen in the line of duty.
“We can never take for granted the sacrifices of the men and women of law enforcement and their families,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn, the sponsor of the proclamation. “It is always an honor to recognize and honor those that have fallen in the line of duty.”
“51 police officers were killed nationwide last year, nearly doubling our nation’s historic low of 2013,” said King County Sheriff John Urquhart. “It is an especially volatile time to serve in law enforcement, and it’s important to take a moment to reflect on the reason most people become police officers – they want to help others. I appreciate the Council for honoring those who have lost their lives in pursuit of that goal.”
There are nearly 3,100 commissioned law enforcement personnel that call King County home. These public servants 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.
“These brave men and women that we are recognizing during Police Week are among the first responders that protect our families and homes,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague. “We should never forget to recognize and thank them for all that they do and the risks they take.”
“I’m glad we can honor our men and women who serve us in law enforcement,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “As the daughter of a retired officer, I know first-hand the sacrifices they make every day as they protect us. We owe them so much.”
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.
“In discussing police work, there has been far too much discussion of race and not enough about service. Black and white officers have recently been shot at or killed in the line of service to their communities,” said Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer. “This proclamation is a small token of respect for those who serve us every day in uniform.”
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.
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 in Washington State were added to the Washington State Law Enforcement memorial in Olympia on May 8th: Officer Derek (Chip) Hansen of the Wapato, WA Police Department and Deputy James Franklin Chatfield of the Whatcom County who passed away in 1921.
WHEREAS, National Police Week takes place on May 10-16 this year; and
WHEREAS, approximately 900,000 law enforcement officers serve in communities across the nation, and thus far in 2015, 40 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 K-9 Officer Jimmy of the Sheriff’s Office who died in April; 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, 286 fallen heroes are being added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., this year; and
WHEREAS, on May 8th, 2015 the names of Officer Derek (Chip) Hansen of the Wapato, WA Police Department, who passed away in 2014 and Deputy James Franklin Chatfield of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, who passed away in 1921, were added to the Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial;
NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Metropolitan King County Council, hereby proclaim May 10-16, 2015, as
in King County and salute the service of law enforcement officers in our community and in communities across the nation.
DATED this eleventh day of May, 2015.