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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – This week, communities across the United States will gather during National Police Week to remember law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, to share their stories of courage and sacrifice and to honor their memory.
“Police week is a time of remembrance of fallen officers who gave their lives to protect ours,” said Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. “Together with our fallen heroes’ families, friends and comrades we come together to grieve for their tragic loss, to celebrate their lives and to carry on the legacy they left behind.”
This year, the names of 286 officers killed in the line of duty will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., including the names of 100 officers who made the ultimate sacrifice during 2013, and 186 officers who died earlier in history but whose sacrifice had not been previously documented. With the addition of the 286 names this year, a total of 20,267 officers’ names are engraved on the Memorial. The names represent fallen law enforcement officers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, federal law enforcement, and military police agencies. Among those added this year will be:
• Robert Austin Bingaman, of the Asheville Police Department. Officer Bingaman died in October 2013.
• Jerry L. Scantling, of the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, who died in August 2008.
• Ronald Lee Yeazel, of the Hope Mills Police Department, who was killed in September 1994.
• John Cook, of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, who was killed in October 1804.
Since January 2014, two more officers in North Carolina have fallen in the line of duty. Alexander Thalmann, of the New Bern Police Department, died in March 2014 from a gunshot wound he sustained during a traffic stop. Forest Service law enforcement officer Jason Crisp and his K-9 partner, Maros, were shot and killed in March 2014 while pursuing a suspect, who hours earlier had killed his own father and step-mother. Officers Thalmann and Crisp will be honored in next year’s ceremony at the Memorial.
U.S. Attorney Tompkins noted that, “Police Week is an opportunity to honor and recognize all law enforcement officers in our communities, who bravely stand on the front lines of violence, each day. These officers are part of a long line of courageous men and women who have taken an oath to protect our neighborhoods, our homes and our loved ones from harm. I am thankful for their service, their courage and their willingness to answer the ultimate call of duty.” There are approximately 900,000 law enforcement officers currently serving in communities across the United States. Each year, nearly 60,000 assaults against law enforcement officers are reported, resulting in approximately 16,000 injuries.
The names of all 286 fallen officers nationwide will be formally dedicated on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial during the 26th Annual Candlelight Vigil, which will be held on the evening of May 13, 2014, in Washington, D.C. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will deliver the keynote address and lead the candle lighting and reading of the names of the fallen officers.
The ceremony will be webcast live beginning at 8:00 p.m. (EDT). To register for this free online event, please visit www.LawMemorial.org/webcast. http://www.LawMemorial.org/webcast