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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of North Carolina

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The U.S. Attorney's Office For The Western District Of North Carolina Pays Tribute To Fallen Law Enforcement Officers In Observance Of "National Police Week"

CHARLOTTE, N.C. –  Communities across the United States 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.

“National Police Week is a time to pay tribute to America’s fallen law enforcement offices for their bravery, their service, and their sacrifice.  There is no deed more noble than the willingness to give up one’s own life to serve and protect the lives of others.  Remembering those who died protecting us is our modest way of repaying our debt to them and their families.  It is also our hope that our fallen heroes’ stories and legacy will serve as an inspiration to others and as an example of selfless public service,” said R. Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.”

In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week.  Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.

This year, the names of 360 U.S. law enforcement 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 129 officers who made the ultimate sacrifice during 2017, and 231 officers who died earlier in history but whose stories of sacrifice had not been previously documented.  With the addition of the 360 names this year, a total of 21,541 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:

  • Major Jay R. Memmelaar, Jr., Goldsboro Police Department, who died in February 2017.
  • Sargent Meggan L. Callahan, North Carolina Department of Public Safety – Division of Prisons, who died in April 2017.
  •  Officer Justin Smith, North Carolina Department of Public Safety – Division of Prisons, who died in October 2017. 
  • Officer Wendy Shannon, North Carolina Department of Public Safety – Division of Prisons, who died in October 2017.
  • Correction Enterprises Manager Veronica Darden, North Carolina Department of Public Safety – Division of Prisons, who died in October 2017. 

U.S. Attorney Murray noted that along with remembering the officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, “National Police Week is an opportunity to thank and recognize everyone in the law enforcement community, who bravely stand on the front lines each day.  Like many others before them, these officers took an oath to serve and protect our neighborhoods, our homes, and our loved ones from harm.  And they do it every day, willingly and bravely, despite the dangers and challenges that come with wearing their uniform.  I am thankful for all they do to keep our communities safe and their willingness to answer the ultimate call of duty.” 

On Friday, May 18, 2018, U.S. Attorney Murray will speak at the Peace Officer Memorial Service in Catawba County, sponsored by the Catawba County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge # 26.  The Memorial Service will be held at the Catawba Memorial Park, located at 3060 Highway 70 SE, in Hickory, N.C.

Updated May 16, 2018