The citizens who serve and protect the United States by enforcing the law will be celebrated on campus as a part of National Police Week with events provided by Central Oregon Community College’s Criminal Justice program.
On May 10 at 2:00 P.M., a memorial service for fallen officers will be held inside COCC’s Wille Hall, according to Criminal Justice program director Kathy McCabe. The memorial will include an appearance by members of the Bend Honor Guard, which the Criminal Justice program has been raising money for through the sale of t-shirts on campus.
The Honor Guard will present colors before the ceremony kicks off, which will feature the Police Chaplain saying a few words about Memorial Week followed by the laying of a wreath to pay homage to fallen officers. The memorial will end with taps being played on the bagpipes.
Criminal Justice has also planned to make and serve lunches to the area’s police departments as well as decorate their lunch rooms with drawings done by local elementary students. And on May 11, the club plans to decorate the trees on campus with blue ribbons representing the signature blue officer’s uniform.
National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund website.The observance originated in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy who marked May 15 as National Peace Officer’s Memorial Day.
“This is actually the second year we’ve done an event on COCC grounds,” said McCabe. “Deschutes County is doing their own event but we wanted to do something strictly on the campus and for students.”
The Bend Police Department is one of those area departments that COCC will be celebrating.
“I think it does two things. one, it lets us see that people really do appreciate what we do and the risks we take,”said Lt. Paul Kansky of the Bend Police Department. ”The other portion is it honors us to see the community honor us and especially honor the officers that have given their lives.”
Although the week is meant to recognize police officers for the work they do for the community, the officers unfortunately do not get the week off according to Kansky.
“It’s two fold,” said Kansky.
“The officers absolutely appreciate the week, for one. the flipside is the emergency calls never stop. we try to give them some time to soak it up, but the radios never stay off.”