PROOS: Honoring our fallen police officers

Published 7:13 am Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe and respond in times of crisis. Sadly, last year 129 of these brave men and women never returned home.

In 1962, to salute the dedication and sacrifice of law enforcement officers and their families, Congress established May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week on which it falls as National Police Week.

Next week, May 13-19, communities nationwide and across Southwest Michigan are uniting to honor and remember those officers who were killed in the line of duty, as well as the family, friends and fellow officers they left behind.

The names of 360 officers will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. during the 30th annual Candlelight Vigil on Sunday, May 13 at 8 p.m. The newly engraved names include those of the 129 officers killed in 2017 and an additional 231 officers who died in previous years. The names will be read during a poignant and emotional candlelight vigil at the memorial.

Residents can watch a live webcast of the vigil at and can see the names of the 360 officers added to the memorial this year at

Here in southwest Michigan, local police officers, families of current and former officers and people from throughout the area will take part in the memorial services at noon May 14, at the Cass County Sheriff’s office memorial garden in Cassopolis and on noon May 15, at the Berrien County Law Enforcement Memorial located in St. Joseph’s Lake Bluff Park.

Our law enforcement officers serve and protect the residents of Michigan. The national and local memorials are reminders that their work is often dangerous and too often ends in tragedy.

Remembering our fallen officers is a great reminder of how blessed we are to have such amazing and selfless officers here in Michigan. I encourage residents to thank our outstanding law enforcement officers for all they do to make our state and communities safe.

JOHN PROOS, R-St. Joseph, represents the 21st District, which includes Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph counties.