KALISPELL — May 15 is Peace Officer Memorial Day across the State of Montana.
The Kalispell Police Department are honoring fallen law enforcement on Saturday by hosting a parade down main street and a ceremony at the Northwest Montana Fairgrounds.
“You know really the families that are left behind, to say you haven’t been forgotten, that you matter,” Kalispell Police Chief Doug Overman tells MTN News.
Overman said the ceremony will include guest speakers and a slideshow honoring the 143 law enforcement officers in the State of Montana who were killed in the line of duty.
“Law enforcement officers from every region of Montana that lost their lives in the line of duty, and many family members will be attending from those who’ve lost their loved ones in the line of duty,” said Overman.
Flathead County law enforcement have been involved in four fatal shootings in the last 12 months.
Chief Overman said these tragedies show just how dangerous the job can be. “Things happen rapidly and quickly, and decisions have to be made under seconds, microseconds, you know these things can go several different ways and while each one of these events has been a tragedy, we’re fortunate we have not lost an officer in those,” said Overman.
He said the event aims to offer support and thanks to Montana families who have lost family members in the line of duty. “You know really the event is also to share to them that their sacrifice matters, that they’re not forgotten, and that they’re in our thoughts,” said Overman.
The parade gets underway at noon down Main Street in Kalispell with the ceremony following at 1 p.m. at the Flathead County Fairgrounds Expo building. Both events are free to attend and open to the public.