JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska —
Every year on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, military and civilian law enforcement come together to remember those who have fallen in the line of duty.
National Police Week was established in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy to pay tribute to law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others, according to the National Peace Officer’s Memorial Fund.
The week-long celebration kicked off with a memorial ruck march with checkpoints highlighting fallen defenders.
“Police Week offers an opportunity to raise awareness about the fallen heroes and the heroes of today,” said Tech. Sgt. Samantha Padilla, 673d Security Forces Squadron visitor control center noncommissioned officer in charge. “It gives us a time when we can honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their nation.”
In addition to memorializing sacrifices made, events also highlighted the SFS career field.
The team hosted various demonstrations at the Joint Military Mall parking lot. A K-9 demonstration, a Humvee, Drug Awareness Resistance Education and weapons display, were all included.
“Often when people see us [defenders], it’s on their worst day,” Padilla said. “The demo allowed people to see what we do in a positive light while highlighting who we are as defenders.”
Police Week also featured the annual Defenders Challenge at Camp Mad Bull. The physically challenging event tested individual and teamwork skills, memory, and career knowledge.
Four person teams participated in a course consisting of a keep-in-memory station, a near ambush, improvised explosive device identification lane and Tactical Combat Casualty Care station.
“While one week isn’t enough to encompass the sacrifice police and defenders made, it’s important to highlight the significance of what they did,” said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michael Thompson, 673d Security Forces Squadron operations support noncommissioned officer.
A shooting competition was held for all SFS members, Military Police and local police to showcase their marksmanship skills at the Combat Arms Training Facility.
To conclude National Police Week, members honored fallen Airmen and Soldiers with a wreath-laying ceremony and roll call.