OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --
The 55th Security Forces Squadron here held several events to recognize Police Week May 15-21.
The week, officially designated by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, honors the police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
“In the same way members of the armed forces risk their lives for their country, police officers risk their lives for the community,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Robert Andersen, 55th Security Force Squadron police services NCO in charge and one of the event organizers. “For us, as security forces, we see both sides of it.”
The events included a retreat ceremony, a Warrior Challenge obstacle course, a ruck march, a golf tournament, a multi-agency display involving civilian as well as military police and a 24-hour Remembrance Walk.
“We’re able to paint a better picture of cops than you get to see in the media sometimes, and have face-to-face interaction with civilians and family members and show that they’re just like us,” Andersen said. “I think having Police Week is better than just a day, because you can have so many events and really raise awareness of what police officers have to do and what they go through, much similar to the military members.”
While Police Week has, in previous years, had good participation, this year is the biggest yet at Offutt Air Force Base.
“We had double the teams for the obstacle course than we did last year,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Sammy Bridges, 55th Security Forces Squadron operations support NCO in charge and a Police Week event organizer. “For the Remembrance Walk, we’ve had 30-minute and hour-long sessions covered for the whole 24-hour period. And it’s been covered by multiple agencies – from the U.S. Navy to U.S. Strategic Command, 55th Force Support Squadron and of course security forces.”
The week is an opportunity not only to bond with members of the local police or security forces, but also to reflect on those who fell in the line of duty, Bridges said.
“During the week we’re honoring all these fallen members – from defenders to local law enforcement,” said Bridges. “It’s a time to actually bring those individuals back into the limelight and remember them and tell their story. During Police Week we have an opportunity to speak about those we’ve lost, and what they went through. Through the events, we’re able to push ourselves to do more in remembrance of those individuals.”