Departments pay tribute to Peace Officers Memorial Day

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SOMERSET, Ky. (WTVQ) – Law enforcement departments across the country are paying tribute Friday to Peace Officers Memorial Day.

While the coronavirus outbreak has canceled some traditional community tributes and events, departments still are finding ways to salute fallen officers.

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In Somerset, police and Pulaski County Sheriff’s deputies honored fallen officers at a brief ceremony.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day. The entire week surrounding the 15th is also recognized as National Police Week.

Pulaski County Sheriff Greg Speck and Somerset Police Department Chief William Hunt joined together to place a wreath at each of the fallen heroes’ graves to show our respect, gratitude and to honor their sacrifice. The Sheriff’s Department had three past Sheriffs to honor and the Somerset Police Department honored two chiefs and a patrolman.

Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office:

· Sheriff Samuel Wilson Catron, EOW: April 13, 2002

· Sheriff James B. Jasper, EOW: July 3, 1952

· Sheriff John McHargue, EOW: Sept. 13, 1891

Somerset Police Department:

· Chief Harold Lewis Catron Sr., EOW: Sept. 16, 1964

· Patrolman McKinley Massengale, EOW: Nov. 1, 1929

· Chief Silas West, EOW: Jan. 16, 1928

“Whether they wore blue, brown, gray, or worked in plain clothes, the dedication and ultimately giving of their lives deserves all we can do in honoring them,” Speck said.

Gov. Andy Beshear has directed flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff on Friday, May 15, in observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day.

A joint resolution of Congress, approved Oct. 1, 1962, designated May 15 of each year as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which it falls as Police Week.

Flags at state office buildings are already flying at half-staff in honor of Kentucky’s victims of the novel coronavirus disease and will remain so until further direction is provided.