Friday, May 10, 2013

Honor, Duty & Dedication

Today, at our Annual Police Memorial Service in Clayton, we recognized the sacrifice of the nine St. Louis County police officers who have died in the line of duty.  This is the start of National Police Week, which was proclaimed by President John F. Kennedy.  I knew six of the officers who died.  I’ve gotten to know their families very well over the years. 

Each year, I see the children of Sgt. Rick Weinhold (Killed in the Line of Duty on October 31, 2000) growing into young adults.  Rick’s widow, Julie, said that both of her sons want to be county police officers when they finish college.  Imagine the courage of a woman who lost her husband in a vicious shooting allowing her children to become police officers.  She is one of the strongest women I know.   

After today’s Memorial Service, we had our monthly Police Board meeting.  At the meeting, I was honored to present awards to several of our officers.  One of the officers was recognized with a “Lifesaving Award.”   The officer performed CPR and saved the life of a man at the South County Mall.  Just two hours after receiving his award, this same officer was in a life or death shootout in Eureka.  Thankfully, he wasn't seriously injured.  This is the life of a police officer.  Things can and will change in a heartbeat.
The dedication of our officers never ceases to amaze me.  They have every right to question their commitment to the profession, after going four years without a pay raise, higher insurance rates and constant public scrutiny.  But they keep on going.  When the call for help goes out, they respond.  Thank God. 

Here’s hoping for a safe Police Week.  We had another close call today.  Keep our officers in your thoughts and prayers.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Chief. We citizens appreciate your fine officers.

    Stay safe out there.


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