GALLIPOLIS — The week surrounding May 15 each year is a week well-known by law enforcement officers all over the country as it is designated as National Police Week, with May 15 being Police Memorial Day.
During a brief ceremony held in front of the newly constructed Gallipolis Justice Center, Gallipolis Police Officers and Municipal Court Probation Officers gathered for the presentation of a proclamation issued by the Gallipolis City Commission honoring Police Memorial Day and all of the officers currently serving their community and who have served Gallia County.
Cremeens, who also served as a Gallipolis Police Officer in the 1970s, proudly presented the proclamation to the Gallipolis Police Department.
“I’ve always held the police department in Gallipolis in high regard, and, I’m proud to say, that I was, at one time, a member of this department,” Cremeens stated. “I’ve always enjoyed police officers, they have been my best friends, and I would trust my life to any of these police officers.”
The observance of National Police Week began following the signing of a joint resolution on October 1, 1962, by President John F. Kennedy. This law declared every May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week — an annual observation of the service and sacrifices given freely every day by all law enforcement officers and their families.
A little over 30 years later, in 1994, an amendment to the law was presented to President Bill Clinton who signed the legislation directing that the U.S. flag be displayed at half-staff on all government buildings on May 15.
More recently, National Police Week has truly become a week to honor all peace officers as thousands of law enforcement officers and their supporters travel to Washington, D.C., annually to participate in a number of events dedicated to those who have served.
Locally, the proclamation signed by Cremeens reads in part, “it is important that all citizens know and understand the duties, responsibilities, hazards, and sacrifices of their law enforcement agency, and that members of our law enforcement agency recognize their duty to serve the people by safeguarding life and property, by protecting them against violence and disorder, and by protecting the innocent against deception and the weak against oppression.”
A proclamation issued by the U.S. President this week also honors those men and women who wear a badge and, particularly, those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The document reads, “Day after day, police officers in every corner of America suit up, put on the badge, and carry out their sworn duty to protect and serve. They step out the door every morning without considering bravery or heroics. They stay focused on meeting their responsibilities. They concentrate on keeping their neighborhoods safe and doing right by their fellow officers. And with quiet courage, they help fulfill the demanding yet vital task of shielding our people from harm. It is work that deserves our deepest respect — because when darkness and danger would threaten the peace, our police officers are there to step in, ready to lay down their lives to protect our own.”