Police Week: remembering the fallen

  • Published
  • By Airman Juliana Londono
  • 9 RW/PA

Throughout the year there is a certain day, week, or even month dedicated to recognizing something specific. The week of May 15 is known as Police Week, as the 15th was designated National Peace Officers Memorial Day by President Kennedy, and serves to recognize all law enforcement officials who have passed while serving.

This year due to the coronavirus, Recce Town had to postpone their participation in Police Week until the week of October 11-15. Although the base’s participation came later than usual, they were able to properly recognize their defenders following Covid-19 safety measures throughout.

Tech. Sgt. Ryan Schaefer, 9th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) flight chief, was the main organizer for the events for this year’s Police Week.

“I’ve been involved in several Police Week events over the years and these past two have been tough,” said Schaefer. “With the increase in Health Protection Condition’s and the importance of limiting the possible spread of Covid, we’ve had to make some tough decisions and cancel certain events. Usually there’s at least one event planned for every day of the week, but we made the call again this year to only host the ones with minimal interaction while still honoring the fallen.”

Events held throughout the week included a 24-hour memorial ruck, where different 9th SFS teams continuously kept the flag moving throughout the day. The ruck began Thursday morning and ended right before the memorial ceremony on Friday morning at Heritage Park.

At the memorial ceremony, the names of fallen Security Forces and Office of Special Investigations (OSI) members were read as a way to pay respects to them and their sacrifice.

“Throughout my time in Security Forces, I’ve had several friends and co-workers leave this Earth way too young,” said Schaefer. “Every year during Police Week, I get that reminder that life is short, and every moment should be cherished. The Detachment 218 OSI building here on Beale AFB is dedicated to OSI agent, Michael Cinco, who lost his life to a suicide bomber while deployed overseas in 2015. Special Agent Cinco was also a Security Forces Defender here at Beale and I had the pleasure of knowing him before he left Beale. Every year when his name is read during the memorial ceremony, I can’t help but reflect on the sacrifices he and his family made. Having a wife and kids of my own, it really hits home.”

At the end of the ceremony a flag is rested on a pair of combat boots which represent all those who have fallen during duty.

“Police Week is important because we often use the phrase “Never Forget” for those life changing events, but nothing is ever really done to remember all those incredible heroes,” said Schaefer. “Having Police Week every year, it allows us to reflect and remember why exactly we do what we volunteered to do.