The Salt River Police Department held its annual Peace Officer Memorial and Remembrance Ceremony outside the SRPD administration office on the morning of May 2. Many were in attendance for the ceremony to show their respect and recognize the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving as a member of law enforcement.
SRPD Det. Edward Alameda welcomed the crowd as the SRPD Honor Guard posted the colors and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Choir sang the national anthem. A moment of silence was observed, and then Lt. William Peel recited the Police Officer’s Prayer.
Although it was held on May 2, the ceremony was one of many taking place throughout the country this month, as Peace Officers Memorial Day was on May 15 and the calendar week is known as National Police Week. It was declared by a joint resolution of Congress and signed by President John F. Kennedy in 1962.
Members of the SRPMIC Council were in attendance, along with SRPMIC Vice-President Martin Harvier and President Delbert Ray, who shared a few words and addressed SRPMIC officers. “You stand in a special place, in the protection of our Community, and for that our Community is forever grateful,” said Ray.
Acting SRPD Chief Karl G. Auerbach spoke on the history of National Police Week as well as the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, located in Washington, D.C., where the names of all fallen officers are inscribed. The memorial has the names of 262 Arizona police officers and 108 police officers from Indian Country. Twenty-three of those officers are from Arizona, and their names were read in a special roll call by Community Manager Bryan Meyers, Assistant Community Manager Carla Banuelos, Law Enforcement Commission Chair Wi-Bwa Williams, SRPD Commander James Sutphen and SRPD Lt. Steve Larson.
A flagpole rose ceremony, conducted by SRPD Records Manager Theresa Harney and Commander Jonathan Gann, also took place as special remembrance was paid to the late SRPD Off. Jair Cabrera, who was killed in the line of duty on May 24, 2014.
In closing, Auerbach thanked and reminded those in attendance to “please remember these brave men and women whose final act on this earth was to serve and to protect and to make a difference in their communities.”