Thursday, May 15, 2008

Peace Officers Memorial Day

Flags across the United States will be at half staff today. In 1962 a joint resolution of Congress authorized and requested President John F. Kennedy to proclaim May 15 of each year as Peace Officer's Memorial Day. The week in which it falls is "Police Week," and nationwide at court houses, state houses, cemeteries, police stations, and other locations ceremonies large and small will be held honoring police officers, deputy sheriffs, state troopers, and other law officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

The Lincoln Police Department marked Police Week at our own ceremony on the steps of the Hall of Justice and Law Enforcement Center on Tuesday. A nice crowd ranging from our newest recruits to a large contingent of our retirees turned out to here remarks appropriate for the occasion by our long time colleague from the City Law Department, John McQuinn after an invocaton by Rev. Dr. Harry Riggs. Captain Genelle Moore revealed a previously hidden talent by singing Amazing Grace a capella, the LPD Honor Guard posted and retired the colors with their usual precision, and Sgt. Tom Ward's playing of taps raised the goose bumps on many arms.

All in all, it was a fitting remembrance of those officers who gave their lives in service to their fellow citizens of Lincoln. It has been forty years since a Lincoln police officer has died in the line of duty. I think, though, that we all realize it could happen at any instant. We will pass the memory of these five officers on to each succeeding generation of Lincoln police officers.

Captain Charles E. Hall died on March 31, 1917 in a motor vehicle collision near 33rd and Adams. Detective Hall was 53 years old and survived by his wife and four children.

Officer Richard E. Leyden died on September 26, 1949 of injuries suffered in a traffic collision on 16th St. between G and H. Officer Leyden was to be married on October 2, 1949.

Detective Lieutenant Frank H. Soukup died on December 16, 1966. in a gun battle at 2413 P Street. Lt. Soukup was 53 years old and survived by his wife and three children.

Detective Paul B. Whitehead died on August 10, 1967 when he was shot near 38th and O Street by an escapee from the Indiana State Prison. Detective Whitehead was 30 years old and survived by his wife and three children.

Officer George E. Welter died on February 9, 1968 when his police motorcycle collided with a motor vehicle at 27th and W Street. Officer Welter was 25 years old and survived by his wife and three children.

8 comments:

Prairie Dog said...

May you have a peaceful and refelctive day.

Thank you for your and every officers service.

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to point out that amongst the crowd that gathered to honor our fallen officers, Mayor Beutler was no where to be found.

Anonymous said...

Our small flag is at half-mast, of course. With body armor, due caution, and much safer cruisers, let's hope that 4-decade streak continues for many, many more years.

Anonymous said...

I hope that keeping these names alive gives a little comfort to the families left behind. The families deserve a prayer said for them too.

Anonymous said...

Chief the other day you write

"Make a note: When you embark on your career in crime, do not draw attention to yourself by driving a plateless unregistered vehicle, or one with illegal home-made intransits. Try to blend in".

I thought that giving aid or assisting a criminal is a crime. So does that include tips on how to blend in?

Tom Casady said...

10:35 AM-

You're funny! I have more advice, like "Don't tattoo your gang nickname on your neck," and "Don't tell your girlfriend all about your criminal exploits then assault her or dump her", and, "If you're going to rob an ATM customer, wait until he uses the ATM first.

8:19 AM-

Cheap shot. The Mayor has many commitments to juggle, his schedule fills up many months in advance, and I note that he has attended every graduation and awards ceremony we've held since he assumed office, and (unlike most) has stayed until the colors are retired.

Forrest Gump said...

You have to understand the criminal mind 10:35AM. You could write a book on how not to get caught by the Police and there would be quite a few criminals arrested on outstanding warrants when they get caught shoplifting the book on how not to get caught by the Police.

I remember one night a hundred or so years ago, in another state, when I got called to a robbery of a C store that had just happened. I probably would have driven right by the robbers if they had been driving away at a normal rate of speed using their headlights, but no, they were speeding down the street with no headlights on, just like on TV. It was a fun pursuit with lots of gunfire exchanged at the end. That was back when the Job was fun. Sorry but there were no pirates involved in this one.

Momma always used to say, 'Stupid is as stupid does.'

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