Police Thankful for Great Community Relationships in Kickoff of Police Memorial Week
SAN ANGELO, TX — The San Angelo Police Department kicked off National Memorial Police Week Monday morning with a ceremony honoring fallen police officers in the line of duty.
The ceremony featured a 21-gun salute, raising of the U.S. flag, and an opening prayer. Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. there will be a 5k fun run, and on Friday an Ecumenical service at Emmanuel Episcopal Church.
Last year, 21 police officers in Texas were killed in the line of duty. Two of them were federal officers. Nationwide, 144 were killed.
“We don’t want 144 offers lost in 2017. That’s 144 too many to me,” said San Angelo Police Chief Frank Carter. By honoring fallen comrades, Carter believes it honors those still serving. Police are regular people just like most of you are, he said. “We’re mothers, we’re fathers, we’re brothers and sisters.”
Police spokeswoman Tracy Gonzalez stressed that San Angelo does not have the tense public-police relationships you hear about in the national headlines. “San Angelo is blessed where we have not experienced what a lot of the nation has: broken relationships and lack of communication,” she said. But that can change any time, she warned. “We want to be proactive rather than reactive building a police partnership with the public in San Angelo.”
Carter added that it’s only one percent of any population who cause trouble. He said ambush killings of police officers may be on the rise nationwide, so we need to figure out how to bring change. The rest of us in the 99 percent are the Good Samaritans who stand on that blue line, with those law enforcement officers who separate the calm from the chaos,” he said. “You can help by letting us know when you see a crime in progress. Citizens are our eyes and ears,” he said.
Police Memorial Week traces its roots to when President John F. Kennedy signed Proclamation 3537—Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week, on May 4, 1963.
“We’re here to pay our respects, to kick off the Police Memorial Week. Of course we’ll never forget our brothers, particularly our own, Korby Kennedy and Jaime Padron,” said Chief Carter. Kennedy was the last San Angelo police officer who gave the ultimate sacrifice in 2015.