Centre County Police Honor Officers Killed in the Line of Duty
They run toward danger when others run away from it.
They risk their lives everyday for the greater good. And tragically, sometimes they make the ultimate sacrifice.
One hundred and five police officers died in the line of duty in the United States in 2013, including two officers in Pennsylvania - William J. McCarthy in Shenango Township and Daniel "JJ" Lomax in Forest City. Federal prison correctional officer Eric Williams was also killed in Jefferson Township.
The Centre County law enforcement community honored the fallen officers during a ceremony at Penn State's Old Main building Tuesday afternoon, which included a 21-gun salute by the Centre County Law Enforcement Rifle Team.
The officers died during drug buys, shootings, crashes, domestic violence calls, traffic stops, and "routine calls," says Penn State Police Chief Tyrone Parham.
"There really is no routine day, no routine call, for an officer," Parham says. "We really just don't know what we're going to confront."
State Sen. Jake Corman describes police work as the epitome of public service because the profession has an "inherent risk" and ensures local communities are safe and economies are strong.
"I'm a better public servant because of their example," says Corman. "As a member of the community and as a public servant, I say thank you."
Centre County Commissioner Steven Dershem also presented a proclamation which declares Thursday, May 15 as Centre County's Peace Officers Memorial Day. Dozens of police officers from the region attended the event.
"Thank you for the job you do and your continued service," says Dershem.
The ceremony coincided with National Police Week. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day.