MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County law enforcement officers honored those killed in the line of duty, both local and across the nation, at the annual Miami County Law Enforcement Memorial Service, held on the plaza at the Miami County Courthouse on Wednesday.
The annual ceremony served as a tribute to the Miami County law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.
Miami County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 58 president and active duty officer with the Troy Police Department Jeff Waite said the day was to honor both officers around the nation and honor the seven fallen officers from Miami County who gave their lives to protect and serve their community. He also added it was a day to honor the sacrifices made by the families of fallen officers in Miami County.
“We made it another year without having to add another name to our memorial and we are very thankful for that, but in 2018 there were 163 officers killed in the line of duty — 64 of those lives lost due to violence and gunfire,” Waite said. “Officers have always been in harm’s way. It is our duty to protect others from those who to chose to cause harm and violate the law. Every day law enforcement officers go on duty with a strong commitment to justice and their communities, subject themselves to dangerous and unpredictable situations as their families hope and pray they come home safe after their shift.”
Waite noted 39 officers have been killed in the line of duty in 2019, noting three line of duty deaths recorded from around the nation last weekend.
“I ask you to keep the families of all fallen officers in your thoughts and prayers and pray that God will bless and keep safe law enforcement officers serving their communities, including our officers here in Miami County,” Waite said.
State Representative Jena Powell was scheduled to speak during the service. Her brother Justin Powell spoke on her behalf and apologized for his sister’s inability to be present due to being in a House session.
Powell shared his recent experience in a “ride-a-long” with an uncle who is a law enforcement officer in Montgomery County.
“It wasn’t a surprise that he took care of and he protected his community — that wasn’t a surprise, I expected that. What was a surprise to me was as I watched him interact with his community, with kids in the community, with parents and adults, how much they loved him. How much they meant to him and how integral a part of the community he was. A community and country that is run by the rule of a law is a community and country that has more freedom, has more liberty, it’s a community that thrives and prospers,” Powell said.
On his and State Rep. Jena Powell’s behalf, Justin Powell thanked law enforcement for their service and sacrifice in the community.
Commissioner and FOP Lodge 58 Chaplain Greg Simmons gave the opening prayer. Simmons also presented a proclamation declaring May 11-18 as “National Police Week.”
Simmons spoke about the sacrifice of law enforcement and their families, including those of the fallen officers who made “the supreme sacrifice” of their life in the line of duty.
“I’m so thankful because we have one of the great law enforcement, troopers, police officers, sheriff’s deputies, rangers, we have some of the best here in Miami County and they care about our communities and they love our communities,” said Simmons thanking all officers and their families.
A roll call of fallen Miami County officers then commenced, with the placement of flowers at the memorial by surviving family members and police escorts.