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Rockwall Police prayer service honors fallen state law enforcement officers

Photo by Richard Redig, Blue Ribbon News.

(ROCKWALL, TX – May 16, 2017) In recognition of National Police Week, officers with the Rockwall Police Department gathered with community members for a prayer service in remembrance of 21 Texas law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty within the past year. The event took place in the parking lot of the Rockwall Police Department at 205 W Rusk St.

“Each one of those officers got up in the morning, went in to do their job, and never came home,” said Rockwall Mayor Jim Pruitt as he addressed the officers to begin the service. “So today, especially this week, we need to remember that you guys are out there doing this and may not come home. For putting your lives on the line every day, we are honored and are in your debt forever.”

“I’m so proud to be able to serve with these men and women every day,” said Rockwall Police Chief Kirk Riggs. “When we were starting our careers, you don’t think about stopping a car at 2:30 in the morning on I-30 and what could happen – a lot of drugs and bad things and bad people going through that corridor. And they do this every day.”

Rockwall Police Chaplain Steve Swofford with the volunteer Rockwall Police Chaplain Program gave an opening prayer, followed by a prayer from Rockwall Clergy and Police Partnership members. Rockwall PD Command Staff, joined by retired Rockwall Police Chief Mark Moeller, then read out the names of each of the 21 Texas law enforcement officers who lost their lives protecting and serving their respective communities. The names of these officers were engraved on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C. yesterday.

Following the service, officers were served a hot breakfast by the J.E.R. Chilton YMCA at Rockwall in the training room of the police station. “You’ve made our community a great place to be,” said YMCA Board of Directors Member Larry Parks. “As first responders, you put your life on the line for us every day, and we realize that and we feel that. The YMCA stands by you and we’re proud to be able to serve you this morning.”

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that day falls as National Police Week. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. features two curving, 304-foot-long blue-gray marble walls, where the names of fallen officers dating back to the first known officer death in 1791 are carved. Each spring, new names of fallen officers are added to the monument in conjunction with National Police Week.

Story and photos by Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News.

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