Take time to thank a peace officer

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By Carol A. Clark

National Police Week provides communities across the United States with seven special days each year in which to honor and thank police officers for their courage and dedication.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a presidential proclamation setting aside a week in May as National Police Week and May 15 as National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day.

This year, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation stating, “Law enforcement officers routinely place themselves in harm’s way to protect people they do not and will not know. They serve willingly and devotedly, and their commitment is essential for us to maintain a healthy quality of life, a strong economy, the safety of our families, and a robust national security system.”

County Administrator Max Baker spoke of the local police force saying that in survey after survey, the citizens of Los Alamos have said the thing they like best about living here is the sense of safety and security they have.

“Key to that particular element of our quality of life is the Los Alamos Police Department and the outstanding service they provide to our community,” Baker said. “Chief Wayne Torpy and all members of the police department provide this outstanding service every day, and to them it might seem routine. We’re happy to pause briefly and acknowledge all they do for each of us.”

County Council Chairman Mike Wheeler describes the Los Alamos County Police Department as “one of the finest police departments in the State.”

“LAPD operates the county jail, provides protective services to the community and enforces local ordinances and state law,” Wheeler said.

“The low crime rate and positive statistics speak for themselves. LAPD is a high performing, high quality organization that we can all be proud of. Police services are a fundamental obligation of local government and are necessary to ensure the high standard of living and high quality of life enjoyed in Los Alamos. Please join me in recognizing Chief Wayne Torpy and the staff of the Los Alamos Police Department for their outstanding contribution to Los Alamos County.”

In his proclamation, Obama said his administration is working to keep Americans safe and to strengthen the Federal partnership with America’s peace officers.

“The benefits that peace officers provide come with great sacrifice,” Obama said. “Every year, many give their lives in the performance of their duties. Their contributions live on in the communities they strengthened and their service will never be forgotten.”

Friday honors all federal, state and local police officers killed or disabled in the line of duty and the president asks that all flags be flown at half staff.

Contact Carol A. Clark at lanews@lamonitor.com or (505) 662-4185 ext. 25. Read her blog at www.newsextras.wordpress.com.