Remember law enforcement sacrifices during National Police Week

Published 6:41 pm Tuesday, May 14, 2019


The Advocate-Messenger

This week, communities across the nation are honoring  their law enforcement officers during National Police Week.

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The special week is held over May 15, which was designated as National Peace Officers Memorial Day in 1962. That means tomorrow will be the 57th year the U.S. will formally remember law enforcement officers killed or injured in the line of duty .

“During National Police Week, we celebrate the contributions of police officers from around the country, recognizing their hard work, dedication, loyalty and commitment to keeping our communities safe,” said U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan recently.

According to the FBI, 106 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents during 2018. The names of those 106 were added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., and dedicated during a candlelight vigil Monday night.

Here in Danville, the police department will be remembering its two officers who died in the line of duty during an annual memorial service, scheduled for 3 p.m. on Friday, May 17, at Bellevue Cemetery. If you can, make time to attend.

Here’s more information about those two officers, according to the Danville Police Department:

• Sgt. James Ryan Sr. “succumbed to gunshot wounds received the previous night while responding to a burglary call with another officer on South Fourth Street. The officers encountered a man with an automatic rifle. The suspect opened fire, striking Sgt. Ryan six times. He was transported to Ephraim McDowell Memorial Hospital, where he died the following day.

“Sgt. Ryan, who was scheduled to retire two months later, was survived by his son, who was also a member of the agency at the time of the shooting. Sgt. Ryan had served with the Danville Police Department for 26 years. He was survived by his son, two sisters and five grandchildren. He was buried in Bellevue Cemetery.”

• Officer John T. Crum “was shot and killed while investigating illegal alcohol sales at a local establishment. he had gone to the bar to serve a warrant on the owner for serving alcohol. When he entered the bar, four patrons immediately left, leaving only Officer Crum and the owner. A struggle ensued between the two and the suspect shot Officer Crum twice in the chest, killing him.

“The man fled the scene but was quickly apprehended. He was convicted of Officer Crum’s murder and executed in a public hanging on Dec. 20, 1901. Officer Crum had served with the agency for four years. He was survived by his wife and 10 children.”

These Danville officers, the 106 killed in 2018 and countless others throughout the history of this nation have paid a high price to keep our communities safe. They deserve our deepest thanks.