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380AEW Article

ADAB observes Police Week 2019

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jocelyn A. Ford
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing / Public Affairs

Members across Al Dhafra Air Base came together during Police Week 2019 to honor and remember law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty.

 “It’s a time for the United States to recognize the contributions and the sacrifices of law enforcement,” said Master Sgt. Sean Fetke, 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, training section chief. “As federal law enforcement, as Air Force security forces, we participate in that week wherever we’re at, both in the CONUS and in the OCONUS.”

Police week encompasses Peace Officers Memorial Day. The bill designating May 15th as a day to honor peace officers day was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy October 1, 1962. Twenty years later an annual memorial service gathering in Senate Park, Washington D.C., began and has since become known as Police Week.

All members of ADAB were encouraged to come together with the ESFS and Office of Special Investigation agents to honor fallen officers and acknowledge their sacrifices. Police week activities included events such as a fire team challenge, weapons display and K-9 demonstration as well as a 24-hour memorial walk and special retreat ceremony.

Airman 1st Class Hudson McCall, 380th ESFS security response team member, explains the different events and their purpose. The fire team challenge was open to all members on base and received participants not only from security forces and OSI but also the Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron and Expeditionary Contracting Squadron.

“The fire team challenge really gives us a chance to come together as a team,” said McCall. “A lot of the events aren’t necessarily just physical, but it also involves a lot of teamwork. Identifying each other’s strengths and just working as a full team, as a fire team.”

The weapons display and K-9 demonstration drew a crowd and was able to bring awareness of the training and value of the K-9 unit to the base populous.

For the 24-hour memorial walk, participants will be handed a name and photo of a civilian law enforcement officer who has paid the ultimate sacrifice since Police Week 2018. At last count, there were 200 fallen officers to be remembered during this year’s walk. The thin blue line American flag will be on the trail for the full 24 hours, as a symbol of solidarity for all law enforcement.

The final day of Police Officer Week 2019, here on ADAB, will end with a special retreat ceremony. During this ceremony the names will be read of all Air Force security forces and OSI members who have died in combat since 9/11.

“Being law enforcement is difficult, and if you’ve watched the news over the last couple of years the job has become more difficult,” said Fetke. “I think it’s important, more now than ever, that we show a solidarity amongst all law enforcement both federal and civilian, but also that we bring to light the sacrifice that law enforcement makes.”