Ark blue thin line transparent A memorial honoring fallen law enforcement officers will be held at the Saline County Courthouse on Thursday, May 18. The program will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the courthouse gazebo and includes a guest speaker and presentation from the Benton Police Department Honor Guard. You are cordially invited to attend this 2017 Memorial Service honoring all who have given their lives in the line of duty.

Since January 1, 2017, there have been 49 police officer fatalities in the U.S., a 36 percent increase from 2016 (between Jan. 1 and May 15 of 2016). There were 143 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2016. There were 51,548 assaults against law enforcement officers in 2015, resulting in 14,453 injuries. 

A total of 1,512 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 63 hours or 151 per year. Since the first known line-of-duty death in 1791, more than 20,000 U.S. law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Law enforcement fatalities nationwide rose to their highest level in five years in 2016, with 135 officers killed in the line of duty, according to data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. The 135 officer fatalities in 2016 is a 10 percent increase over the 123 who died in the line of duty in 2015. It is also the highest total since 2011, when 177 officers made the ultimate sacrifice. Firearms-related incidents were the number one cause of death in 2016, with 64 officers shot and killed across the country. This represents a significant spike—56 percent—over the 41 officers killed by gunfire in 2015.

There are more than 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers serving in the U.S. who put their lives on the line for the safety and protection of others. They serve with valor and distinction – and with great success.

To honor law enforcement officers during National Law Enforcement week (May 15-May 21), you are asked to “Fly The Blue” ribbon on your car antenna, place a blue bow on the front of your home or business, and display a blue light on your porch. If you see an officer, tell them “Thank You”. Cards and letters of appreciation are always welcome at all departments. Recognition of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and those who daily protect and serve is greatly appreciated.