Ceremonies around state honor fallen officers

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Correction: An earlier version of this article erroneously stated that Friday night’s ceremony is taking place at 6 p.m., due to misinformation from an Alaska Department of Public Safety press release. The ceremony is taking place at 5:30 p.m. The Empire regrets this error.

Across the state Friday, police departments will honor those who have fallen in the line of duty to start Alaska’s Police Memorial Week.

In Juneau, there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at Evergreen Cemetery at noon Friday. There will be another ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School. There will be events in Anchorage and Fairbanks as well, according to a release from the Alaska Department of Public Safety.

National Police Memorial Day is May 15, according to the release, but memorial services in Alaska are held on a different day so families of fallen officers can attend both the local services and national memorial events.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), 129 law enforcement officers around the country died in the line of duty in 2017 and 51 have died in 2018 as of May 9. That’s a 9 percent increase from how many officers died by May 9 in 2017, according to NLEOMF numbers. There have been no law enforcement deaths in Alaska in 2018, according to NLEOMF, and there have been 49 officer fatalities in Alaska’s history.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, the most recent officer death in Juneau was in 1992 when officer Karl William Reishus fell to his death in a training exercise. In 1979, officers Richard Adair and Jimmie Kennedy were shot and killed in the line of duty.

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