The Valparaiso Police Department hosted this year’s National Police Week. Despite bitter drizzle to rain and cooler temperatures, this year appeared to be a record turnout.
Following full color guard, attendees were led in prayer for the safety and protection of our fine officers. Mayor Jon Costas shared words of reflection, praise and encouragement.
Police Chief Mike Brickner addressed the 51 officers, highlighting recognitions for our fallen officers and kudos for the strong, cohesive force today. “In 1962, President John F. Kennedy declared the week of May 15th as National Police Week. Historically Valpo Police Department had never done anything to memorialize or give remembrance of those officers fallen from duty. About 10 years ago, I started our National Police Week Memorial service and Annual Inspection- a tribute that’s very meaningful to our department and to our officers.
The mayor made a comment that I have heard him say before- Sometimes being reminded rather than instructed serves as an even greater reminder of the type of job we do- the services we provide, how valuable our officers are and how much they are genuinely appreciated for all they do.”
“Sometimes we go about our day and are taken from granted to some degree that we are out there. All night long, all holidays and weekends. This is something to remind us all officers, families, citizens, that they are out there making a real difference. We have such good people here. I’m so grateful and this has been a wonderful opportunity for me- an honor and a privilege.”
While the weather was to cut short the event– families were all smiles and hugs for pictures with their uniformed relatives, including umbrellas- When asked for his highlight of today’s event, Rich Spicer noted, “I think the nicest part of today is successfully getting 51 people together – We work together, have the same employer, come to the same building and yet we don’t see much of each other all the time due to our different shifts. So, the fact that we can get together and have lunch together, I think THAT’s the best part of the day.”
Mike DeHaven added, “I would say with the weather being what it is, that all these people came out is the best part of today. Today has been the best turn out we’ve ever had and yet this is the worst weather we’ve experienced. It was also very nice to hear what our Mayor and Chief of Police had to say- public kudos are very nice. I really enjoyed seeing all 51 of us here at the same time.”
Finally, the memorial service closed, pictures wrapped up and all headed inside for a well-deserved lunch together Click here for more photos.