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Team Little Rock honors the fallen during Police Week

Man walking with Black flag with blue stripe down middle in front of a military Aircraft.

Airmen from the 19th Airlift Wing participate in a 28-hour ruck march as part of National Police Week at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, May 14, 2020. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy established May 15 as the Peace Officers Memorial Day; the week in which that date falls is National Police Week. The annual observance commemorates law enforcement officers who've fallen in the line of duty.

Two Airmen rucking

Airmen from the 19th Airlift Wing participate in a 28-hour ruck march as part of National Police Week at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, May 14, 2020. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy established May 15 as the Peace Officers Memorial Day; the week in which that date falls is National Police Week. The annual observance commemorates law enforcement officers who've fallen in the line of duty. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mariam K. Springs)

Man walking with military dog

Staff Sgt. Clayvon Finch, 19th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, walks with MWD Frigo during a 28-hour ruck march honoring local Office of Special Investigations agents and SF Defenders as part of National Police Week at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, May 14, 2020.

Airmen sanding at parade rest at a memorial

Airmen from the 19th Security Forces Squadron and Office of Special Investigations Detachment 327 participate in a closing remembrance ceremony May 15, 2020 at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. Each year on the week of May 15 is National Police Week and pays tribute to local, state and federal law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mariam K. Springs)

Man standing in formation with commander speaking in microphone

Major Andrew Ferguson, 19th Security Forces Squadron commander, speaks at the closing remembrance ceremony May 15, 2020 at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. Each year on the week of May 15 is National Police Week and pays tribute to local, state and federal law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Airmen rendering a 21 gun salute.

Airmen from the 19th Security Forces Squadron render a 21 gun salute at the closing remembrance ceremony May 15, 2020 at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. Each year on the week of May 15 is National Police Week and pays tribute to local, state and federal law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mariam K. Springs)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- As the largest career field in the Air Force, it’s the job of security forces to protect, defend and fight. They are the first line of defense; wherever there’s an Air Force asset, there’s a defender there protecting it.

This week was special for the 19th Airlift Wing’s Security Forces Squadron and OSI Detachment 327 as they honored law enforcement during National Police Week, May 11-15.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy established May 15 as the Peace Officers Memorial Day; the week in which that date falls is National Police Week. The annual observance commemorates law enforcement officers who've fallen in the line of duty.

“Normally, this week is full of events aimed to celebrate our culture, engage with and educate the public, build camaraderie, and honor our fallen brothers and sisters in blue,” said Maj. Andrew Ferguson, 19th SFS commander.  “COVID-19 placed many constraints on being able to do that, but instead of cancelling everything, we decided that we could and should still remind the public of the sacrifices made by so many and honor our fallen comrades.”

This year provided unique challenges but didn’t deter 19th SFS Defenders from honoring hero’s past and present. Following COVID-19 physical distancing and safety measures, the Defenders held a 28-hour ruck march honoring local Office of Special Investigations agents and SF members around Heritage Park, culminating in a remembrance ceremony.

“Although we are only naming these 28 heroes, many more across security forces, OSI and the wider law enforcement family have been killed in the line of duty,” said Staff Sgt. Kyle Kell, 19th SFS patrolman and emcee of the remembrance ceremony.  “All of the fallen gave their lives in service to our communities and our country.”

The week ended with a somber closing ceremony at the Vandenberg Main Gate where photos of fallen Defenders and special agents have been posted all week. At the end of the ceremony, the Defenders held a 21-gun salute and played Taps for fallen police officers.

"Our Defenders’ actions and service honor the fallen every single day, not just during Police Week,” Ferguson said at the closing ceremony. “Their memory and service continues through each of you. You and others before you are a special part of this diverse and selfless family.”

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