City, county and state police honored fallen officers during the annual Police Memorial on May 13 at the Law Enforcement and Firefighters Memorial of Allen County, 1001 N. Wells St., Fort Wayne. The memorial is the beginning of Police Week, May 15-22, 2022.
The Allen County Commissioners declared May 13 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the City of Fort Wayne declared May 13 as Police Memorial Day for this year.
Sofia Rosales-Scatena, captain for the Southeast Quadrant and of Community Relations of the Fort Wayne Police Department, said the Police Memorial is in the 19th year, beginning in May of 2003.
"We honor those who have fallen in the line of duty in the Allen County area," said Rosales-Scatena. "Their families are always present and the officers always pay tribute to everyone."
Rosales-Scatena said the memorial helps to honor and recognize those who have given their lives for the safety of the community.
"People put on uniforms everyday and go out and they are away from their families on holidays and birthdays," she said. "To be where you're just not returning at all is a huge sacrifice, not only for the fallen, but also their families. It's just right that we honor and salute them."
The family response to the event is amazing, Rosales-Scatena said.
"We have families going back generations that still come to the event to hear their loved one's name called on the honor roll," she said. "I hugged two wives of fallen officers and they're going to go out and grab lunch after the memorial. It's just overwhelming support from us to them and from them to us."
The proclamations read at the Police Memorial put the importance of Police Week in the minds of those in Allen County, Rosales-Scatena said.
"It's something that JFK instilled in the '60s to honor officers because he did know they deserve a little bit of extra recognition," she said. "We're missing a lot of people at the ceremony that would normally be here because they're in court at a murder trial. These are the things we have to do on a daily basis and the community needs to remember we're here and that our job doesn't end once the cuffs go on. Our job continues after that."