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National Police Week Begins May 10

The Oakdale City Council proclaimed recognition for National Police Week from Sunday, May 10 to Saturday, May 16 at its meeting on May 4.

In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, 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.

Thirteen California Peace Officers were killed in the line of duty in 2014 including local Stockton Police Officer Scott Hewell who was killed in an on-duty car accident last May when rushing to respond to a shots fired call.

The number of officers killed in the line of duty last year was considered abnormally high, nearly double the average of seven.

Earlier this year State Senator Kathleen Galgiani introduced SCR 20, which recognized May 4, 2015 as Peace Officer’s Memorial Day in honor of 13 officers who died in the line of duty in 2014.

 “It is a solemn honor to be here both to remember and to celebrate the lives and contributions of these fallen heroes,” said Galgiani. “I am deeply saddened by the loss of these exceptional officers, but remain honored and humbled by their courageousness and willingness to defend our great state.”

A candlelight vigil was held at the California Peace Officer Memorial in Sacramento on Sunday, May 3 with a ceremony with peace officers across the state on May 4 including a private ceremony for families, walk of honor at the Capitol and an enrollment ceremony.

Locally, the Stanislaus County Peace Officers Association will have its annual ceremony at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 6 at Lakewood Memorial Park in Hughson.

The featured speaker will be California Highway Patrol Commissioner Joseph A. Farrow who spent 35 years with the CHP before he was chosen to lead the agency in 2008.

Nationally, the names of 273 U.S. law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty will be formally dedicated on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, during the 27th Annual Candlelight Vigil on the evening of May 13.

The names include 117 who made the ultimate sacrifice during 2014 nationwide, in addition to 156 officers who died earlier in history but whose sacrifice had not been previously documented.

Each May, an estimated 20,000 people assemble at the memorial grounds in Judiciary Square for the Candlelight Vigil, a signature event of National Police Week. For the seventh year, the ceremony will be streamed live over the Internet so that people across the country can witness this annual tribute to America’s law enforcement officers. Individuals interested in the free webcast can register online at