Law enforcement officers throughout Richmond, Berea and Madison County do more for the community than just helping keep the streets safe.
Often, they are going to birthday parties, helping build houses or participating in fundraisers to show that they are more than men and women behind badges, but neighbors and friends.
And for both their dedication, service and sacrifice, National Police Week is observed this year from Sunday, May 12 to Saturday, May 18.
During the observance of Police Week, community members and officials celebrate the contributions and sacrifices of all peace officers to keeping people safe.
Just last week in the city of Berea, Mayor Bruce Fraley and the city council approved a proclamation recognizing Police Week 2019 to "honor the service and sacrifice of those law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty while protecting our communities and safeguarding our democracy."
The proclamation made note of the first recorded police fatality in 1791, with almost 20,000 having been killed in the line of duty since that time, including Town Marshall John A. Collins who was killed in August 1914 within Berea city limits.
Honoring those who have lost their lives during this week is especially hard for the Richmond community, according to Rob Minerich, the Richmond city manager, after Richmond Police Officer Daniel Ellis was killed in the line of duty, November 6, 2015.
"It being a week to recognize those who have lost their lives is very close to all of our hearts with the loss of Officer Daniel Ellis," Minerich said. "But our police force is second to none when it comes to community engagement to school systems and safety events. They do a phenomenal job of reaching out and supporting our charities in our communities, as well."
Minerich went on to commend Richmond Chief of Police James Ebert and Assistant Chief Rodney Richardson for their extensive efforts in community outreach.
"I could not be more proud of our officers," Minerich said.
Names of fallen officers are engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C. and new names will be added this spring, including 158 officers that were killed in 2018.
At the Kentucky Law Enforcement memorial in Richmond, there are 541 names of fallen heroes. The ceremony for this memorial is scheduled for May 23, 11 a.m. at the Department of Criminal Justice Training on EKU's campus.
In Berea, flags will be flown at half-staff on May 15 to honor those fallen officers and their families.
Reach Taylor Six at 624-6623 or follow her on Twitter at @TaylorSixRR.