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May 16, 2014

Moore police honor comrades who died while on duty

MOORE — A red, white and blue memorial wreath stood in the hallway of the Moore Police Department, and many flags were flown at half staff Thursday in remembrance of fallen officers.

It was the department’s third year to have a service for National Peace Officer Memorial Day, which is recognized May 15 every year. The calendar week in which May 15 falls also is recognized as National Police Week.

As the 45 officers who had fallen in the United States this calendar year were remembered with a slideshow of their photos, haunting calls to dispatch echoed through the room.

“Today, we acknowledge those who serve their communities 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year in and year out and who put their lives on the line to protect and serve their communities. We ask you to respect, honor and remember,” Lt. Dan Melendez said.

Three of those fallen officers served in Oklahoma. Undersheriff Brian Beck, with the Washita County Sheriff’s Office, Officer Kristian Willhight, with the Burns Flat Police Department, and Deputy Terry Fisher, with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, died in January.

To help the families of those fallen Oklahoma officers, the department announced that the Moore Fraternal Order of Police will make a donation to the Oklahoma Police Officer Memorial Foundation.

Statistics of fallen officers show in 2012 and 2013 that the number of fatalities were the lowest the United States had seen since 1959 when 110 officers died. Unfortunately, data for this year is showing a 26 percent increase in officers’ deaths over 2013 at this time, Melendez said.

“Today in the United States, some 900,000 law enforcement officers put their lives on the line for the safety and protection of others, including the 87 dedicated members of the Moore Police Department. They serve with valor and distinction, and with much success as you saw earlier,” Sgt. David Dickinson said, referring to a video presentation at the beginning of the service.

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