Celebrating National Police Week

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- It's hard to believe another year has come and gone as peace officers around the world celebrated National Peace Officers Memorial Day, May 15, and National Police Week, May 10-16. 

In 1962, President Kennedy signed Public Law 87-726 marking the memorial week, which was amended in 1994 by President Clinton proclaiming that the flag at government buildings be displayed at half-staff. 

Nearly 40,000 officers and supporters honored thousands of law enforcement officers from around the country who have lost their lives in the line of duty. National Police Week is the one week each year when, if at no other time, the general public should take a minute to recognize what the police community does. 

When you find a stray animal, who do you call? You locked your keys in the car, who do you call? You notice something odd or strange in the neighborhood, who do you call? More often than not you call the police when you don't know where else to turn. 

The men and women of the 71st Security Forces Squadron took time May 10-16 to commemorate our brethren around the world who made the ultimate sacrifice for public safety. 

The unit kicked off the work week May 11 with reveille at the base flag pole. Security Forces participated in the Special Olympics' Torch Run from the main gate to Hennessy, Okla., May 11, and hosted the National Police Canine Association certification event throughout the week. 

A candle light vigil was held in the chapel May 12. Vance cops participated in a fun-shoot at the Enid Police Department's firing range Thursday and are hosting a Cops-for-Kids outing Friday. 

A retreat ceremony is scheduled Friday at 4:30 p.m., with a flyby from the 71st Operations Group. Throughout the week the unit collected food at designated areas for the Our Daily Bread soup kitchen in Enid. 

Police Week was a time for all of us to reflect on the selfless acts performed everyday for public safety. As we took the opportunity to commemorate National Police Week, we did so in respect to police officers both in civilian communities as well as those within the military branches of service. 

The relevance of what policing means to a society cannot, and must not, be discounted. It is with this understanding that we recognized those that have made the ultimate sacrifice in policing. We show our respect to those individuals and this profession by supporting the national theme of "Heroes Live Forever."