By HERALD STAFF In lieu of the traditional Peace Officers Memorial Day ceremony at the department's Garfield Avenue headquarters, Cranston Police this year have compiled a virtual memorial to honor members of the law enforcement community. "e;While this is
In lieu of the traditional Peace Officers Memorial Day ceremony at the department’s Garfield Avenue headquarters, Cranston Police this year have compiled a virtual memorial to honor members of the law enforcement community.
“While this is a highlight of the year for many of our friends, family, retirees and officers, we believe the health and safety of everyone is of paramount importance … Thank you and we look forward to seeing everyone at next year’s ceremony,” Chief of Police Col. Michael Winquist wrote in a message included in the virtual ceremony, which can be viewed through the department’s Facebook page or at youtu.be/Jnm_zPEwJTU.
Peace Officers Memorial Day, part of National Police Week, is held on May 15 each year to federal, state and local officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty, as well as those on active duty or who have retired. Cranston Police have held a ceremony for the last 27 years.
“Sadly, in 2019, 146 officers were killed in the line of duty in the United States. This year, our officers on the front lines are facing a new and unprecedented threat – COVID-19,” a statement from Cranston Police reads. “Several officers in various parts of the country have been stricken by the virus and died. All these heroic men died serving and protecting their fellow citizens, tragically leaving friends and family behind. Every day, law enforcement officers proudly serve and protect citizens throughout this great country. These officers willingly accept the inherent dangers associated with the profession and realize that each tour of duty may be their last.”
In keeping with tradition, the virtual ceremony pays special tribute to the three Cranston officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty over the years, including Chief John Bigbee, Patrolman Henry Johnson and Sgt. Walter Busby.
“Even during this pandemic, it is important that we recognize our fallen officers and those who sacrifice for us every day they put on the uniform,” Mayor Allan Fung said in a statement. “I am so proud that our police department has created this virtual ceremony to continue to honor our brave men and women who have served our city proudly and who risked their lives in service to the public. We cannot thank their families enough and will never forget them, even in these challenging times. They are forever part of the Cranston family.”