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National Police Week marked

By Staff | May 18, 2016

A memorial ceremony is set for today in Fort Myers in honor of National Police Week.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week, according to authorities.

Tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world will converge on Washington, D.C., to participate in a number of planned events to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Locally, the Fallen Officers’ Memorial Ceremony will be held starting at 9 a.m. at Centennial Park.

“It’s recognition to those officers that lost their lives in the line of duty,” Deputy Chief David Newlan, with the Cape Coral Police Department, said.

The ceremony is a collaboration between the surrounding agencies.

“Last year, the local neighboring departments decided to get together and do one ceremony,” he said, adding that the agencies in previous years would each host their own event.

“We get together to pay tribute to those officers who have lost their lives,” Newlan said.

Along with the CCPD, the other participating agencies will include the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Myers Police Department, Florida Highway Patrol, Florida SouthWestern College, Florida Gulf Coast University, Port Authority Police Department and Southwest Florida Public Service Academy.

There will be a presentation of colors during the ceremony, along with the Pledge of Alliance and national anthem. A proclamation will be read, declaring this week as National Police Week.

“We usually have a guest speaker,” he said.

There will also be a Role Call of Heroes, where the names of the lost officers will be read out loud. Newlan noted that the CCPD has not lost a single officer in the line of duty since its beginning.

In honor of the week, many officers will wrap a black band around their badge.

“A lot of officers are wearing mourning bands,” he said.

Last year, an estimated few hundred people turned out for the ceremony.

“It’ll be interesting to see this year,” Newlan said.

Some Cape officers have already reported being approached and thanked by the public.

“Our community has always been really good about that – recognizing our service,” he said.

For more about National Police Week, visit: www.policeweek.org.