|NEWBURYPORT — City Marshal Mark Murray reports that the Newburyport Police Department is commemorating National Police Week.
|National Police Week runs from May 13-19, and is observed throughout the United States as a way to honor local, state and federal law enforcement officers who have died or been severely injured in the line of duty.
|The Newburyport Police Department held a ceremony yesterday to mark Peace Officers Memorial Day. During the ceremony, Marshal Murray paid tribute to the officers killed in the line of duty nationwide last year, and also recognized the three Newburyport Police officers who have lost their lives over the course of the department’s history.
|“Law enforcement officers risk their lives each day in service to the people who live and work in the communities they serve,” Marshal Murray said “It’s our honor and duty to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
|Father Tim Harrison of the Immaculate Conception School helped to honor the fallen officers, while eighth grade students led attendees in the pledge of allegiance. Retired firefighter and bagpiper Jim MacDonald played Amazing Grace at the ceremony as well.
|As part of National Police Week, police departments throughout the country hold vigils and memorial services to pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Peace Officers Memorial Day was first held in 1962 after being designated as a national day of observance by President John F. Kennedy.
|In 2017, there were 129 line of duty deaths, including 46 officers that died from gunfire, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. The number of firearms-related law enforcement officer fatalities is up 56 percent this year in comparison to this time last year.
|Each year, more than 30,000 law enforcement officers and their families travel to Washington D.C. to observe National Police Week. On Sunday, May 13, a candlelight vigil was held on the National Mall with thousands in attendance.