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National Police Week: Remembering the fallen

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Bobby Cummings
  • 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

The 9th Security Forces Squadron, Detachment 218 Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), and multiple law enforcement agencies conducted various operations and events honoring National Police Week (May 15-21) here. The intent of National Police Week is to recognize and honor law enforcement officers and Department of Defense personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice. 

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, there have been more than 20,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty dating back to 1791. Furthermore, 1,439 law enforcement officers lost their lives during the past 10 years. In 2015, 123 law enforcement officers were killed.

“Police Week represents an opportunity to recognize those who have sacrificed their lives in law enforcement,” said Tiago Andrade, AFOSI special agent. “On December 21, 2015, there were six individuals who were lost. Four of those were OSI special agents and two were Security Forces personnel while on protection detail at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. I knew them all, but one of the agents was my close friend Michael Cinco.”

Staff Sgt. Michael A. Cinco, AFOSI, 11th Field Investigations Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, was 28 years old. Cinco and five other Airmen (OSI eulogizes fallen heroes from its 'darkest day') were killed by a suicide bomber near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 21, 2015.

“Myself, Cinco and three other friends developed a strong relationship while attending the OSI Academy in 2013,” Andrade said. “He was always straight forward, but he had fun. His friends knew him as this sarcastic friendly guy, but if you were more in the intimate circle you knew how loving and caring he really was. He would give his left arm for you.”

According to Andrade, he would not be an AFOSI special agent if it weren’t for the guidance of Staff Sgt. Cinco.

“He taught me everything; I think about him every day,” Andrade said. “I have a photo of him at my desk. He would have been back in April, and he was all about the outdoors, jumping out of planes and taking it to the limit. When you have a close friend like Cinco die in combat the pride I have of being an OSI agent is amplified. Police Week gives me a lot of pride being in the Air Force and law enforcement.”

The 9th SFS hosted various events pertaining to Police Week including a memorial ceremony, a 5K memorial run, a shooting competition and a golf tournament at the Coyote Run Golf Course here.

“The entire week has been very humbling to me,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel Mata-West, 9th SFS non-commissioned officer in charge of police services. “Police Week is a where we get to honor our fallen security forces members and law enforcement officers and thank those still serving for their services. It’s truly an honor to have them attend and take part in the competitions and events.”