HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — In honor of National Police Week, the Hampton Police Division honored officers for their heroic acts of service and officers that were lost in the line of duty.
It’s an annual memorial and honor service award ceremony for the city.
39 different awards were given out to current officers ranging from medals of valor to lifesaving awards.
Lt. Jason Price said that highlighting the service of police officers is important, especially in today’s climate.
“Officers every day sacrifice their lives. There are officers dying almost every other day, one way or another, to protect the country, here in our homeland so we can enjoy the freedoms each of us enjoy. That’s what we do every day and what we are committed to in Hampton,” Price said.
The department also remembered three of their fallen officers, including Kenny Wallace, who was shot and killed in 1994.
Wallace’s family attended Monday’s event.
“He was a jolly fellow. He was a happy go-lucky young man. He loved what he was doing. He was always trying to help people all the time,” Wallace’s mother Evangeline said.
The Wallaces come out every year.
Next year will the be 25th anniversary of his death, but his mother said it doesn’t seem like it.
“We think of him everyday,” she said.
Wallace was only 29 when he died.
According to police, he was the victim of mistaken identity while sitting in his patrol car.
“To think that he was a great young man and it saddens us he had to leave so early in life. He had a great future in front of him,” she said.
Wallace is grateful for her son’s statue, which stands in Honor Park next to city hall.
She said she always prays for officers and thanks the city for continuing to honor him.
“He will always be in our hearts. We thank Hampton for not ever forgetting. We certainly appreciate them. WE certainly appreciate Hampton. They really are our family and I thank God for that,” she said.
Mayor Donnie Tuck proclaimed it Police Week in the city and flags will be flown at half staff at all municipal buildings for the rest of the week.