NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — It’s a somber week for officers like Norfolk Police Sgt. Aprell Copeland who remember their own.
“One of my coworkers who was in my academy class is on that list he died 12 years ago, May 20th,” Copeland said.
Copeland shared her story of dealing with the loss of a fellow officer with children from The Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Virginia.
“I know engaging with them makes us more human, if you will,” said Copeland.
“It made me feel more inspirational of being a police officer,” said Boys and Girls Club member Ty’yaniah Tillman.
Norfolk Police also told the kids about a three day bicycle ride to Washington D.C. to honor their fallen brothers and sisters. 39 officers were killed in the line of duty since the department began. Other local departments will join them.
“Only thing I can say is get your legs ready and in shape cause that’s probably going to be really tiring,” said Boys and Girls Club member Octavion Payne-Barnwell.
Officers say tonight also gave them a chance to connect with kids on a different level because, some of these young people can relate to losing a friend or a loved one.
Before these officers had to leave, they shared a meal with those they are sworn to protect.
The Norfolk Police Peace Memorial is Thursday, May 17, at 9:30 a.m. at Norfolk City Hall. Parking is free in the City parking garage if you write the word ‘Police Memorial’ on your parking garage ticket.