Remember those who serve and protect

Members of area law enforcement agencies from around the country have been joined by people from all walks of life in communities around the country to remember the men and women who have given their lives in the line of duty.

The services offer a reminder that fighting crime is dangerous work for the 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers in the United States. During the last 10 years, 1,512 officers have died in the line of duty, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. That means one officer has lost his or life every 61 hours. In fact, more than 20,000 men and women have died in the line of duty since the first recorded police death in 1791.

Since that time, Texas has lost 1,706 officers in the line of duty, the most of any state. In our region, Pennsylvania has lost 854 officers, Ohio has lost 791 officers and West Virginia has lost 180 officers.

Of the 143 officers who lost their lives in 2016, 66 were shot to death, 29 died in an auto accident, 15 died of a job-related illness, 15 died after being struck by a vehicle, 10 died as a result of a motorcycle accident, two drowned, one died as the result of an aircraft accident, one was beaten to death, one was killed in a fall, one died in a horse-related accident, one was stabbed to death and one was strangled to death. Six of the officers were female.

All fallen officers were to be remembered at events scheduled to be held in Washington, D.C., as part of National Police Week. A memorial was held in Marietta on Monday.

We ask everyone to take a moment to remember the dedication and sacrifice of the men and women who work day and night, 365 days a year, to enforce our laws and keep our communities safe.