Flags flown at half-staff in honor of police - WNEM TV 5

Flags flown at half-staff in honor of police

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

The American flag was flown at half-staff Monday in honor of the men and women who uphold laws and protect communities. 

It was National Peace Officers Memorial Day, a time to remember their sacrifices. 

Several local events were held to mark the occasion. 

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 126 hosted its annual service in Flint Memorial Park. The keynote speaker was former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade. 

Pat Crim's son Russell Herrick was one of the officers memorialized.

"He has two uncles that were in law enforcement and from the time that boy could walk, that's all he could talk about," Crim said. "I'm proud of him. I just wish it had been different."

Herrick, an officer in Burton, was killed in 1980. His namesake was present on Monday.

Ron Rutherford, a retired Flint police officer, said being an officer means joining a family and when one falls it impacts them all.

"They wear that uniform and that badge and they are your brother and your sister. It does mean a whole lot to you," Rutherford said.

There were 19 officers recognized at the memorial.

Master of ceremonies John Nickola - a former prosecutor - said he knew many of the fallen officers personally. He said Genesee County's memorial became the inspiration for a National Peace Officers Memorial in Washington.

"It all started out, a couple of judges, a couple of police officers having lunch and we'd just come up here to spend a moment of silence. That's how it all began and a lot of those people are gone now," Nickola said.

Another ceremony was held at the Midland Law Enforcement Center.

The event featured city and county officers, as well as members of the search and rescue dive team and the K-9 unit. 

Specialty vehicles and equipment were also be on display for public viewing. 

Since 1962, May 15 has been a day to recognize fallen officers across the country.

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