Events

May 23, 2014

Fallen law enforcement officers honored with End of Watch ceremony

Tags:
Rebecca Amber
staff writer

Deputy Ruiz, L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, is followed by Special Agent Ira Collier, Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment 111, and Airman 1st Class Veronica Esparza, 412th Security Forces Squadron, to place a red carnation on a wreath as a reminder of the officers that have died in the line of duty.

 
National Police Week at Edwards culminated in front of the Air Force Test Center Headquarters Building May 16 with an End of Watch ceremony.

Earlier that week, 412th Security Forces Squadron personnel participated in a 24-hour vigil to symbolize fallen officers and military members around the country.

“It started at 9 a.m. on Monday and went until 9 a.m. Tuesday. We had two of our defenders take one hour shifts for the whole 24 hours and walk around the track with our squadron guidon,” said Senior Airman Philip Hamlett, 412th SFS, Police Services.

After the vigil, the squadron decided to “have a little bit more fun” by hosting a field day barbecue with the Office of Special Investigations, the U.S. Marshalls and several other agencies around base.

“This week encapsulates everything that it is to be a law enforcement officer in one sense,” said Hamlett. “In another sense, we get to pay homage to everyone that came before us and, unfortunately, paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

Lt. Col. Leonard Rose, 412th Security Forces Squadron commander, shares the risks that a law enforcement officers face daily in their jobs.

During the End of Watch ceremony, Airman 1st Class Geremi Long, 412th SFS, entry controller, offered a brief history of police week and Peace Officer’s Memorial Day.

May 15 was first designated Peace Officer’s Memorial Day in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation to honor the men and women in law enforcement and those who have died in the line of duty. The law was amended in 1994 as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act to display flags at half-staff on May 15 each year.

Though the calendar dates may change from year to year, the week surrounding Peace Officer’s Memorial Day is recognized as police week.

Lt. Col. Leonard Rose, 412th SFS commander, shared that in preparing for the End of Watch ceremony he found “a lot of similarities between test pilots and law enforcement.”

Airman 1st Class Veronica Esparza, 412th Security Forces Squadron, places her carnation in the wreath used to recognize the purity of an officer’s intentions to keep the nation’s citizens free and safe. The additional carnation represents the members of her agency that have died.

When he began to research the aviation history at Edwards he found Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier, Maj. Robert White becoming the first aircraft pilot to earn his astronaut wings when he took the X-15 over 314,000 feet and Maj. Pete Knight who flew the fastest manned aircraft flight in the SR-71 reaching Mach 6.72.

What he found was, like law enforcement officers, pilots risk their lives daily.

He shared the story of Tech. Sgt. Robert Butler, who on January 11, 1998, was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop on base.

“When [pilots] go up every day and risk their lives it’s an ultimate battle between man and machine and the laws of physics,” said Rose. “When law enforcement goes out every day for the simplest traffic stop, it’s a battle between man and man, another human being who can think and either be rational and plan out how they want to harm you or be irrational and do something completely unexpected.”

Staff Sgt. Thomas Roach, 412th SFS, desk sergeant, served as the master of ceremonies that day. He shared that the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., holds the names of all those who have fallen in the line of duty.

To recognize the local officers who had sacrificed their lives, a small memorial wreath was displayed and a representative of each local law enforcement agency placed an additional carnation on the wreath. After placing their flowers, each person read the names of the officers they wanted to recognize with the carnations.

“The white carnations symbolize the purity of the officer’s intention to respond to the nation’s call so that citizens may remain free and safe,” said Roach. “The additional red carnations, which our brother officers will place on the wreath, are a reminder of the men and women who will be greatly missed and will always be remembered.”
 

Staff Sgt. Adrian Castillo, 412th Security Forces Squadron, recites a poem about military working dogs during the End of Watch Ceremony May 16, for Police Week.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Commissary hours The Commissary will be closed Dec. 25 and 26. Regular hours will resume Dec. 27. The Commissary will be open regular hours Dec. 31, and closed Jan. 1, 2015. For more information, call 661-277-9175. Museum hours The Air Force Flight Test Museum will be closed for the Christmas holidays starting Dec. 22 and...
 
 

412th Force Support Squadron Holiday Hours

Christmas Eve: Dec. 24 OPEN: Aero Club: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Arts & Crafts/Auto Hobby: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Airman & Family Readiness: 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Child Development Center: 6:15 a.m.-5 p.m. Family Child Care: 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. High Desert Inn: Open seven-days a week, 24-hours a day Information, Tickets & Tours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Library: 9...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Edwards First Sergeants council wraps up Christmas programs

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber The annual Angel Tree program will provide gifts for around 300 Edwards children this year. The Edwards First Sergeants Council puts on the event to help Airmen unable to buy their children...
 

 
afmc-q-and-a

Lean thinking, process improvement highlight Busch’s time at AFMC

During the last 16 years and six assignments in Air Force Materiel Command, Vice Commander Lt. Gen. Andrew Busch was challenged to find new methods to operate more efficiently in one of the most complex and diverse commands tha...
 
 
flu

Flu season: What you need to know

Flu is officially upon us. If you have ever had the flu, you know it can knock you out ó with members of your family, friends and co-workers not far behind. Today, it’s more important than ever to get your facts straight...
 
 
driving-safety

Driving safely on snow or icy roads

Unless you’re traveling through the mountains of Southern California in the winter, driving in the snow doesn’t occur very often. First off, don’t assume your vehicle can handle any road condition. Even four-w...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>