SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — This National Police week, the city of Suffolk is honoring those who have given their lives to serve and protect our community.
They hosted a ceremony in honor of the incredible sacrifices these officers made to better protect our community.
Many gathered inside city hall including families, police officers and grateful citizens.
Nationwide, 158 officers died in the line of duty in 2018.
The names of the fallen Suffolk police officers who were honored include:
- Officer George T. Smith (1908)
- Suffolk Chief William Brinkley (1918)
- Officer Joseph Pratt (1935)
The most recent officer who gave his life to protect us is Officer William Henly, he died on the job in 2005.
He was running after suspects, successfully made the arrest but minutes later he suffered a heart attack.
Major James Buie with the Suffolk Police Department understands the sacrifice first-hand.
“We just want people to understand that officers leave their families, leave their homes to go to work and always, there is a possibility that they may not come home that afternoon,” said Buie. “To have this week and this day to honor these officers and their sacrifices, means everything to me.”
Dr. L.D. Britt. is the Chief of Surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School and the keynote speaker at the event.
“For me in medicine, people talk about first responders, first responders, the first responders to an accident is usually a law enforcement officer and people don’t realize that, they do a lot before the ambulance comes, before the doctor gets involved. We have the freedom from violence, from civil disorder because of them. We should all respect and all honor.”