SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – This is National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Week. 22News was at a ceremony honoring western Massachusetts officers who died in the line of duty.
This was the 26th Annual Police Memorial Day Service. It’s held at Springfield Technical Community College each year.
47 police officers from Western Massachusetts have been killed on the job since the early 1900s. Their names were all read out loud during a ceremonial roll call.
Officers laid a wreath in front of a memorial on the college campus that has all of the fallen officers’ names on it. Fortunately, no Western Massachusetts officers were killed in 2013, which means no new names were added to the memorial.
Chief David Hastings of the Gill Police Department told 22News, “The emotions of when somebody new is being added to it is undescribable. It’s not only the fact you have the current members but people are still trying to heal from that and I’m not sure you really ever heal from that to begin with.”
At last year’s ceremony, Springfield Officer Kevin Ambrose who died in June of 2012, and Westfield Police Officer Jose Torres who died in July of 2012, were honored.
Each program had this banner, which represents the organization, “C.O.P.S. – Concerns of Police Survivors.” It’s a reminder how much a family, police department and community are impacted when an officer is killed.