HELENA – Every year, May 15 commemorates Peace Officers Memorial Day; a day to pay tribute to local, state and federal law enforcement officers who have lost their lives or been disabled in the line of duty.
Members of law enforcement from across the state and Canada gathered in Helena to honor the Montana officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Police began the event with a memorial procession down Last Chance Gulch of police and other emergency vehicles. They then made their way to the state Capitol where presenters gave thanks to the officers and families who gave everything to keep the public safe.
“Every day, sworn law enforcement officers, deputies, agents and troopers across Montana and across our country and Canada take it upon themselves to put their lives at risk, often while the rest of us are sleeping,” said Kurt Alme, United States Attorney for the District of Montana.
Last year 106 members of law enforcement lost their lives while on the job, according to FBI data.
“We will never forget the sacrifice of these heroes, the resilience of their loved ones. You inspire us all,” said Interim Helena Police Chief Steve Hagen.
As of May 14, 31 officers have lost their lives while on duty in the United States so far this year.
“When one of us is shot or killed in, be it law enforcement, fire department, EMS, dispatcher, detention officer we all bleed,” said Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton.
Alme said the support shown in Montana among separate agencies is truly remarkable.
“I just want to say how gratifying it is to work in a state where there is so much mutual respect and collaboration by law enforcement who support one another and just want to get the job done,” said Alme.
On Thursday, May 16, at 11 a.m. the Broadwater County Sheriff’s Office will be holding a dedication ceremony for Deputy Mason Moore.
-John Riley reporting for MTN News