Police Week at Vance

  • Published
  • By Airman Zoё T. Perkins
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- “In law enforcement, you wake up every day not knowing if it’s going to be another routine day in the office, or your last day on earth,” said Tech. Sgt. Eric Aber, the NCO in charge for Security Forces Operations.

“People get up every day and do it anyway knowing the risk involved, and some people have had to make that sacrifice. That’s what Police Week is all about, just remembering those and their selflessness for both military and civilian law enforcement,” said Aber.

National Police Week, May 13-17 this year, is a national observance in the U.S. to honor those who serve and have served in local, state, and federal law enforcement positions in the line of duty.

“Police Week is remembering the fallen defenders and fallen law enforcement individuals around the country,” said Aber. “It’s a small thing that we all do, and a week doesn’t do it justice, but it’s just remembering the people who have served.”

To honor those who have fallen in the line of duty, the 71st Security Forces Squadron at Vance designates a full 24 hours out of Police Week to carrying the “thin-blue-line” flag around the base track.

The thin-blue-line flag is a visual reminder of the police officers who form a "thin blue line" between order and chaos.

“I’m honored to be able walk for them and with them as a sign of respect for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Master Sgt. Tonita Sealy, a Career Assistance Advisor for the 71st Force Support Squadron.

In addition to the 24-hour vigil, the 71st SFS held a different event each day of Police Week, starting with a 5K ruck, a golf tournament, the Defender’s Challenge, and a demonstration by military working dogs, and combative arms training including a weapons capability display.

All in all, Vance made the most of Police Week, not only to honor law enforcement, but to teach others what goes into being a cop, and what it takes to be willing to make that sacrifice.

“I’ve been doing this for 12 years now,” said Aber. “I joined the military in 2007 as a cop, and I’ve been doing it ever since.

“I really do love this job,” said Aber. “I love the people that I work with, and I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything.”

Police Week ended at Vance with the 71st SFS holding a memorial guard mount ceremony May 17 to recognize fallen law-enforcement officers.