Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police held a procession and memorial Friday in honor of police officers who have been killed in the line of duty.
Flanked by members of other local law enforcement agencies, police marched from CMPD headquarters to First Baptist Church in uptown Charlotte, where a memorial service was held to honor the 38 law enforcement officials who have lost their lives in Mecklenburg County since 1804.
The event was a part of National Police Week, an annual week of recognition of law enforcement established by President John F. Kennedy in 1962.
CMPD Police Chief Kerr Putney addressed officers at the ceremony and some families of slain officers in attendance. Putney noted the courage officers show in risking their lives, but also explained the job’s importance.
“I’m tired of the need for such a sacrifice,” he said. “But without us, where would we be as a community, as a country or as a world?”
Putney also discussed the challenge officers have in today’s climate, and alluded to the September protests and riot following the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. He said officers often face a burden of needing to present information faster than it’s available. He urged officers to continue to be bold in working against criticism of the profession.
“Nothing quiets down your critic like excellent service,” Putney said.
Before the service, family members of fallen officers placed roses on a memorial site outside of CMPD headquarters.
Last week, CMPD officers biked to Washington to honor fallen officers and to visit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.