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Editor, I just wanted to let everyone know that May 9-15 is National Police Week. President John F. Kennedy established National Police Week in 1962 for the purpose of recognizing the nation’s law enforcement officers. The week culminates on May 15 which is designated as Peace Officer’s Memorial Day. In Washington D.C. this week several events are planned, including a candlelight vigil, bike ride, Peace Officer’s Memorial Day services and other events.
Since 1792, almost 19,000 peace officers have lost their lives in the line of duty. Each year the names of fallen officers are added to the National Peace Officer’s Memorial. This year, 116 names will be added. They are the names of the law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty during 2009.
I’d like for everyone to take a moment this week and think about the police officers and deputies who safeguard our community every day. The men and women who watch over us do so at great risk to themselves. No one knows for sure what each day will hold in store. We polish our badges, strap on our duty belts and face the day knowing full well the danger we expose ourselves to. We do this for you, the people of our community. We want each and every one of you to be able to enjoy life to the fullest in safety and security.
Only a few short years ago Sgt. Michael Larson was killed in the line of duty. This was a tragedy for our local law enforcement community and the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office in particular. Sgt. Larson’s name is engraved on the Peace Officer’s Memorial (panel 8E 25). If you should ever have the opportunity to visit our nation’s capitol, I hope you take a moment to view the Memorial.
I would like to thank each and every officer of the Richmond Hill and Pembroke Police Departments and the deputies of the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office. Without your dedication and sacrifice, our communities would surely suffer at the hands of those who would do us harm. Thank you for choosing a path few are chosen to follow. Thank you for directing traffic during the heat, rain and sand gnats. Thank you for checking on things that go bump in the night. Thank you for the comfort you give to a grieving family. Thank you for finding lost children. Thank you for running towards the sound of gunfire instead of away from it.
I also want to thank your families. Thank you all for your love and support. Thank you for your patience and understanding during the long hours, extra days and for a shoulder to cry on. More than you know, your love, strength and support helps to carry us through the roughest of times.

SGT Jason Sakelarios
Richmond Hill Police Department

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