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Port Ceremony Honors Fallen Police Officers

A group of residents and officers gathered at St. Peters Catholic Church on Thursday night to honor officers across the nation who have lost their lives or become disabled while on duty as part of National Police Week.

A group gathered at  on Thursday night to honor police officers across the nation who have lost their lives or became disabled while on duty.

The ceremony was part of a celebration of National Peace Officers Memorial Day, which is officially May 15, and is also part of the nationally recognized Police Week. This is the 50th year the day has been celebrated since John F. Kennedy signed the proclamation in 1962, according to policeweek.org.

A number of speakers took the podium to praise the work of these dedicated officers, including Port Mayor Tom Mlada, Port Police Chief Kevin Hingiss and Port Police Capt. Mike Keller.

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"We are indebted to your service," Mlada said. "It is truly a humbling, awe-inspired experience to be in this peace-filled ceremony, in a peace-filled city — and honoring the men and women who (keep it that way)."

Much of the speeches also focused on the "fallen heroes" who "gave it all," in Keller's words. In the middle of the ceremony, the officers participated in a roll call ceremony, placing red flowers in vases to recognize officers who lost their lives in the midwest states in 2011 while on duty.

The recognized officers included (cited information taken from Officer Down Memorial Page, odmp.org):

Two white flowers were also placed in special memory of:

  • Police Chief Thomas Buntrock, of the Mequon Police Department, died in 1979; "accidentally shot and killed by a another officer following an armed robbery and hostage situation. The robbery suspect fled into a home where he took a man and infant child hostage. Chief Buntrock was able to negotiate the release of the hostages in exchange for taking the Chief hostage."
  • Officer Peter Larsen, of the Beloit Police Department; died in 1998, "died of a gunshot wound received fourteen years earlier when he responded to a kidnapping complaint. After arriving on the scene the suspect, who was the victim's estranged boyfriend, shot both Officer Larsen and the kidnapping victim twice in the head. The kidnapping victim died the following month. Officer Larsen was left a quadriplegic and in a semi comatose state. Officer Larsen died near Las Vegas, Nevada, where his family had moved to help his health."

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