This morning the Naperville Police Department held their 2021 Peace Officers Memorial Observance ceremony to honor fallen police officers.
Remembering Those Who Have Fallen
As part of Peace Officers Memorial Day NPD Chief Bob Marshall remembered over 200 police officers across the U.S. that died last year. He said 113 were killed in the line of duty and 182 died as a result of COVID-19.
“Alarmingly so far in 2021 we’ve had over 100 police officers die in the line of duty,” said Marshall. “Three from Illinois. In the last three days, four have lost their lives in the line of duty.”
According to Chief Marshall 38 NPD officers had COVID-19, but all have made a full recovery.
The ceremony also paid tribute to former Police Chief Robert Worthel, the only NPD officer to die in the line of duty, and Naperville police officer Juan Rios who died earlier this year after a battle with cancer.
Chief Marshall also discussed the struggles police officers have faced over the last year.
Struggles Police Officers Face
“2020 has been an extremely challenging year for members of our profession,” said Marshall. “We’ve had to overcome the impact of a pandemic, civil unrest, rise in crime, legislation such as House Bill 3653, along with some calls to defund and abolish policing. These challenges have just made us stronger and more resilient.”
Community members and city leaders were also at the ceremony, including Naperville mayor Steve Chirico.
“Peace Officers Memorial Day is the annual recognition and caries a significant weight in the heart and souls of our community,” said Chirico. “Everyday we ask men and women of our police department to ensure our public safety. It’s one of the most vital roles that a public servant can have, and one that requires a staggering amount of bravery.”
The ceremony included a moment of silence for police officer that have died, honoring the U.S. flag, and a bagpipe performance of “Amazing Grace.”
Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.
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