Blue ribbons, blue lights and blue-lettered banners are set up across the town and county to recognize National Police Officers Week. Every year a week is set aside to recognize the work local law enforcement does for the community, the sacrifices the officers make and to memorialize those lost in the line of duty.
Ive been organizing efforts to promote Police Officers Week for about three years now in Clallam County and the community response has been growing each year, said Kim Martin, of Diamond Point. We put blue ribbons on light poles, we distribute flyers, hang large banners and try to get as many blue antenna ribbons out to local people as we can.
Blue antenna ribbons are available at many local businesses and the Sequim Police Department, 609 W. Washington St.
May 15 has been National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week containing the day has been National Police Week since former President John F. Kennedy signed the practice into law on Oct. 1, 1962. Former President Bill Clinton signed a law directing all government buildings to display the American flag at half-staff on May 15.
I hope people take advantage of the opportunity to show those that protect them how valuable their service is, Martin said. Even if it is a smile or a wave, these men and women deal with a lot of bad stuff on a daily basis and need positive responses to what they do, just like the rest of us.
Nationwide, efforts to recognize the week include marathons, candlelight vigils and more. Locally, activities are a bit low key but continue to put the point across people are thankful for their protection.
My husband was a sheriffs deputy in Yakima County for about 10 years and while I was a deputys wife I got to hear about the experiences and personal battles officers go through, and what they have to see and deal with, Martin said. So I felt there was a need to recognize that here after I moved to the area, even if my husband was in the U.S. Coast Guard rather than law enforcement.
North Olympic Peninsula-based law enforcement will attend a flag-lowering ceremony at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 15, in front of the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles. An honor guard will present colors, a county commissioner will read a proclamation and Sheriff Bill Benedict will make an address. The public is welcome at the event. After the ceremony, attendees will walk up Lincoln Street to Veterans Memorial Park, where the honor guard will hold a 21-bell salute to those fallen in the line of duty.
We encourage people to display blue ribbons and to put out blue lights during the entire week in honor of all peacekeepers, said Alice Hoffman, Clallam Countys chief civil deputy. We have really appreciated Kim Martins efforts to promote this week, both officers and staff have noticed the effect.
Martin and her family are relocating to Florida soon. She is sad to say she can no longer carry the blue ribbon torch for Clallam County.
Im hoping to pass the tasks on to someone else before I regrettably leave, she said. It is an exciting opportunity to go to Florida, but I want to make sure this tradition will carry on locally.
This year, Martins tasks involve obtaining and making available about 1,500 antenna and light pole ribbons. She also obtained funding from Sequim Police and the Jamestown SKlallam Tribe for two large banners that will hang on the Washington State Patrol Port Angeles detachment, where Old Olympic Highway intersects U.S. Highway 101, and at Adagio Bean and Leaf, 981 E. Washington St.
Those interested in helping spread recognition of National Police Week in years to come can contact Martin at 681-7140 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There really is a thin blue line for these officers, she said. I hope we can continue showing our hometown heroes how much we appreciate them.
For more information on National Police Week, visit www.nationalcops.org.
To help with Police Week ribbon distribution after Martins departure, contact her at 681-7140 or email@example.com.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
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