Jefferson County Commissioners pass proclamation honoring law enforcement officers

Posted 5/19/22

Jefferson County commissioners approved a proclamation observing Peace Officers’ Memorial Day and National Police Week.

At the board of commissioners meeting May 9, Jefferson County …

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Jefferson County Commissioners pass proclamation honoring law enforcement officers

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Jefferson County commissioners approved a proclamation observing Peace Officers’ Memorial Day and National Police Week.

At the board of commissioners meeting May 9, Jefferson County commissioners read aloud and passed their proclamation, which calls “upon all citizens of Jefferson County and upon all patriotic, civic, and educational organizations” to observe National Police Week.

“It means a lot to us in law enforcement to know that we have the support, not only of our commissioners, but of our community,”  Sheriff Joe Nole told commissioners before they voted to approve the proclamation.

Port Townsend Police Chief Thomas Olson also thanked commissioners for recognizing National Police Week, which always falls in the week of May 15, as well as the significance of Peace Officers’ Memorial Day.

“It’s a time for all of us to pause and remember the officers that gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving our communities,” Olson said.

“I’d also like to take a little time to recognize all the police families that have lost a loved one, and to recognize the officers that continue to protect our community,” Olson added. “Please know that the entire police department in Port Townsend is here to serve our community, and we do that with integrity, compassion, and professionalism.”

Commissioner Heidi Eisenhour said she appreciated the talents and expertise of local law enforcement.

“I appreciate you guys every day,” Eisenhour said.

“But frequently, specifically, as a commissioner, I’ve relied especially on the sheriff’s department, and some of your team to help with issues that arise with constituents,” she continued.

“I think everybody in our community feels grateful that when they call 911 that there are dozens of people in our community who show up to help — because it happens more often than people know,” Eisenhour said.

The commissioners’ proclamation notes that “the men and women in law enforcement of Jefferson County unceasingly provide a vital public service.”

The proclamation states: “It is important that all citizens know and understand the duties, responsibilities, hazards, and sacrifices of their law enforcement agencies, and that members of our law enforcement agencies recognize their duty to serve the people by safeguarding life and property, by protecting them against violence and disorder, and by protecting the innocent against deception and the weak against oppression.”

President John F. Kennedy issued the first proclamation for Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week in 1962 to remember and honor law enforcement officers for their service and sacrifices. Peace Officers Memorial Day falls every year on May 15, and honors law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty.

A total of 472 law enforcement officers died nationwide in the line of duty in 2021, according to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund, with 319 dying of  COVID-19.

Seven officers died in the line of duty in Washington state between 2019 and 2021; Jeremy Robert Brown (Clark County Sheriff’s Office), Reginald Bernard Harris (King County Sheriff’s Office), Alexandra Brenneman Harris (Seattle Police Department), Jon David Anderson (Spokane Police Department), Gabriel Kyle Forrest (Washington State Corrections), David Alan Christensen (Washington State Corrections), and Eric Thomas Gunderson (Washington State Patrol). 

The names of the seven fallen officers were added last week to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial in Washington, D.C., and joined the names of 612 other members of law enforcement who were also added to the memorial’s wall.

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