Submitted by James G. DeMann, Eden Prairie Police Chief
This week my family and I visited Washington, DC for National Police Week, a time that is set aside to remember law enforcement officers across the nation who were killed in the line of duty.
Attending a memorial service and visiting the National Law Enforcement Memorial were incredibly moving. The names of more than 21,000 officers are etched into the wall. This year the memorial honored 143 officers who died in 2016 and more than 80 officers who died from cancer-related effects of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City.
As you walk along the wall, you can see notes, flowers and numerous tributes left by friends and families of the fallen. Many people, like me, know some of the officers on that wall and get rubbings of their names. It’s a somber reminder of the effects of losing an officer. When an officer dies, part of America dies. Many are affected by that—not just the family of the officer, but the department, community and friends.
During the memorial service, we were reminded that there has been an increase in ambush-style attacks on law enforcement officers across the nation, simply because of the uniform they wear. Fortunately, the majority of society respects the work of the men and women in law enforcement. On behalf of the Eden Prairie Police Department, I truly appreciate the immense support we get from the community. Thank you.