15 Reasons for May 15
Every year on May 15th, the United States observes Peace Officers Memorial Day during National Police Week to recognize and pay tribute to the law enforcement officers who have given their lives in the line of duty. Tragically, this year 135 names will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall in remembrance of the men and women who were killed in the line of duty last year.
As a 33 year law enforcement veteran, I have experienced the deep feelings of pain and sorrow of losing friends and colleagues on the job. Their deaths remind me every day that officers are willing to respond to a call for help regardless of an individual’s political views, race, religion, or criminal history. Like my friends and those who lost their lives before and after them, officers are willing to sacrifice everything for those they serve.
Our law enforcement officers and their families deserve our support. Together, we must do more to improve the breakdown in trust between police and the communities they serve. We must change the national rhetoric and remember to recognize and appreciate their everyday acts of bravery and kindness in service to all of us.
Each week, leading up to May 15th I will share with you a reason our law enforcement community deserves our support. I hope you will join in me in participating in #15ReasonsforMay15 by posting stories about the important work our law enforcement officers do in our communities, thanking your local officers, and any additional creative ideas you can think of to show your appreciation. I will proudly display stories shared with my office on my website . Together, these small acts of thanks will add up to a big show of support for law enforcement across the nation as we honor their service and remember the sacrifices of the 135 officers who gave their lives last year.
Reason Number Two: PERSEVERANCE
Last December, Mount Vernon officer, Mike “Mick” McClaughry, was shot in the head while responding to a local shooting. Officer McClaughry is a father, a husband, and a three decade law enforcement veteran. For over two months he underwent treatment at Harborview Medical Center – at times hanging on to his life in critical condition. With the help of outstanding medical professionals, a loving family, an outpouring of support from his community, and an incredible determination to survive, Officer McClaughry was released from the hospital.
His injuries have left him blind and unable to continue working at the Mount Vernon PD, but he has taught us all a lesson about not only what it means to serve and sacrifice, but how to persevere against tremendous odds.