Sheriff Dale Furr said law enforcement agencies in Richmond County and surviving family members will remember peace officers who have died in the line of duty in a solemn ceremony.
“The Peace Officers Memorial Day observance pays special tribute to those officers who made the ultimate sacrifice during the past years,” Furr said.
The day was created on Oct. 1,1961, when Congress asked President John F. Kennedy to designate May 15 to honor the officers.
In 2002, President George W. Bush said for the observance that in addition to honoring officers, that it “reminds us of the ongoing need to be vigilant against all forms of crime, especially to acts of extreme violence and terrorism.”
Much of the event nationwide will center around the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall in Washington, D. C. More than 17,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty are listed there.
Rockingham Mayor Gene McLaurin will be the guest speaker for the occasion.
Furr’s welcome will be followed by the invocation by Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Frank McQuage. Deputy Sgt. John Edwards will post the honor guard and lower the flag to half staff in honor of the occasion.
The benediction will be given by Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Marshall Norris.
Furr said that the code of ethics for a law enforcement officer includes a fundamental duty to serve the community; safeguard lives and property, protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation; and the peaceful against violence or disorder.
And, he said, to respect the Constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality and justice.
He said law enforcement officers are asked to not let personal feelings influence their decisions and enforce laws courteously and appropriately without fear or favor.
Furr said the code states, “I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service.”
In doing so, Furr said law enforcement personnel realize that each is responsible for his or her own standard of professional performance and work to enhance and improve their level of knowledge and competence.