FOP to host annual Police Memorial on Thursday

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A citizen thanks Salina Police Officer Dani Lemon for her service. Clarinda Police holds its annual ceremony marking National Police Officer's Memorial Week Wednesday afternoon at 2 at the Clarinda Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They work long hours, investigate domestic disputes, robberies, rapes, assaults, homicides and occasionally exchange gunfire with criminals.

Lt. Thomas Tuck tries not to think about dying in the line of duty every time he hits the road for the Alex City police department, but it does cross his mind from time to time. Most officers are a close-knit bunch, having friends or family who have lost their lives on the job. There are 24 names engraved on the memorial. Most the time, we get criticized, and just knowing that people do support us and back us is the reason why we keep going. It was a real shame that police were painted with that brush because it's simply not accurate for the majority of them.

"There may be more that haven't been discovered and have been lost to history and time", said Tim Coe, the secretary/treasurer for Fraternal Order of Police, AuSable Lodge #189.

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Take a minute and try to imagine what our society would be like if there were no law enforcement agencies, from the local police department, the sheriff's department, the state highway patrol and other state agencies, and the federal authorities. Dennis Klaske was only six years old when he father was killed.

In the final moments of the service, Sgt. James Mitchell, Chaplain of the West Virginia State Police, sang "The Anchor Holds", which contained the lines, "The anchor holds through the ship is battered".

It was a somber atmosphere inside the Government Center as folks from across the city came to reflect on the lives of our fearless fallen men and women in uniform on Peace Officers Memorial Day. "That never goes away", Janke said.

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"Lately I've notice that there is a great deal of talk about the dangers of a career in law enforcement".

Who would you call if someone was breaking into your house at 2 in the morning?

"We have a tendency as a society to want to address the symptoms instead of the problems". And when we call, they come, no matter the time of day or day of the year.

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Much of the week is devoted to the memories of officers who have died in the line of duty. "They risked their lives protecting others and it's important that they get remembered and that their lives are honored". It hasn't gone unnoticed.