Northern Illinois University will be the location of Friday’s DeKalb County Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial Service. The ceremony, which takes place outside the Kenneth and Ellen Chessick Practice Center at 4:30 p.m. May 15, honors and remembers those law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as the family members, friends and fellow officers they left behind.
“This ceremony is to honor the police officers that have given more than we as a people should ever ask, yet these men and women have freely given,” NIU Police Chief Tom Phillips said.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.
This year, the names of 273 officers killed in the line of duty are being added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. These 273 officers include 117 officers who were killed during 2014, plus 156 officers who died in previous years but whose stories of sacrifice had been lost to history until now.
“They are the fallen heroes that have sacrificed their lives to protect the values of a free and democratic society. They are our fathers, our mothers, our sons and our daughters. They come from of all races, all religions, and all walks of life. They are our brothers and our sisters and they should not, nor will they ever, be forgotten,” Phillips said.
The DeKalb County ceremony will honor officer Jim Morrissy, of the Oak Forest Police Department, and Sycamore-born officer Ezra Caldwell, of the Chicago Police Department. The program is scheduled to include representatives from DeKalb, Sycamore, NIU and Elgin police departments.
The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in lots 31, 31A and 31B, located on either side of the practice center and the west side of the Huskie Stadium. The service will be held inside the Chessick Center, 1245 Stadium Drive, DeKalb, in the event of inclement weather.