GALLIPOLIS — Gallia law enforcement recognized Peace Officers Day as part of National Police Week Tuesday morning with a firing salute, special words and a brief presentation by Gallipolis Police Chief Jeff Boyer naming GPD’s Officer of the Year.
Bulaville Christian Church Pastor and Gallia dispatcher Bob Hood shared a word about the importance of Peace Officers Memorial Day after a firing salute was led by law enforcement from across the county.
Passed OSHP Gallia-Meigs Post’s Sgt. Dale Holcomb and Trooper Joshua Risner and passed Gallipolis Municipal Court Probation Officer David Poling were remembered with portraits. The troopers died September 28, 2006 in a collision when responding to a colleague’s call for assistance. Poling died May 22, 2007, while chasing a suspect into the Ohio River before encountering problems swimming halfway to Gallipolis Island.
“Let’s go back to 1791 and since, 23,721 personnel of law enforcement have been lost in the line of duty,” said Hood. “This year so far 42 men and women have been lost in the line of duty. I challenge you some time when you’re in Washington D.C. to visit the memorial. It’s sobering. It brings back memories and it’s a time to reflect (on those who died while serving).”
“I have a quote that I think is very appropriate…’It’s not how these officers died that made them heroes, it’s how they lived,’” said Hood. “The men and women that serve not just our country and not just our state, men and women who serve our community every day, they live what they teach and preach. They love us. That’s why they chose that profession. It’s a real thing for them.”
Hood would go on to say that on October 1, of 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed into law that May 15 would be recognized as Peace Officers Memorial Day. Subsequent resolutions have insured that flags would be flown at half staff in memory of those who served and passed doing their duty.
“People are pausing in every community and state to do just what we’re doing,” said Hood.
Gallipolis City Manager Gene Greene read a proclamation recognizing Peace Office Memorial Day.
Gallipolis Police Chief Jeff Boyer presented GPD’s Officer of the Year recognition to Officer Mark Still. He was selected by a vote of his peers and was also recognized as 2016’s GPD Officer of the Year.
“In choosing Officer of the Year, members of the department were charged with selecting one among themselves that demonstrated honesty, integrity, loyalty to the department, knowledge of the job and how they apply that knowledge,” said Boyer. “To have been selected by your fellow officers is a credit to you personally and professionally. It is a reflection of your work ethic, professionalism and ability to maintain good working relationships with your works. You are truly a credit to the department and an asset to the citizens of Gallipolis.”
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.