By SCOTT AUST
Director of Communications/Finney County Economic Development
Local law enforcement commemorated National Peace Officer’s Memorial Day on Wednesday morning with a ceremony in front of the Finney County Law Enforcement Center in Downtown Garden City.
The ceremony included the raising of the colors to half staff, a moment of silence in honor of fallen officers throughout the country and the playing of taps.
Sgt. Bill Powers with the Garden City Police Department thanked law enforcement officers and their families, the City of Garden City and every member of the community for their support and the kindness shown to law enforcement officers every year.
“We are blessed to have a supportive community. There is no place like Garden City, and we all take great pride in this fact,” Powers said.
Powers said said since the previous memorial ceremony a year ago, three Kansas law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty. Powers said each time a brother or sister’s life is cut short, a small piece of every officer cries out in pain.
“Words to find comfort in times such as these are tough to come up with,” Powers said. “But I will tell you God has a plan. These officers all stood for things that are good and kind in this world. These officers did not sit on the sideline and wait and see if things would change in their communities. They stepped up and made a difference. Without a doubt, all three of these law enforcement officers had contact in their careers that changed someone’s life for the better.”
Powers urged fellow law enforcement officers to focus on the positives of their work — the countless families that have been helped, the smiles on children’s faces when spending time with them at schools.
“Always remember you are loved. You are valuable. And you are good,” he said. “You are my friends. You are my family. We stand together in solidarity both in good times and in bad.”
Lt. Steve Martinez with the Finney County Sheriff’s Office shared a message from Sheriff Kevin Bascue, who was unable to attend the ceremony, thanking law enforcement officers for their service and emphasizing that officers are honorable, courageous and worthy of the nation’s support.
Martinez added that he conducts a lot of tours of the law enforcement center for school groups and noted that one of the first things he loves to share is the fact that the building houses both the Sheriff’s Office and the Police Department, something not every community can say.
“I say that with pride. I love the working relationship that we have. We work out of the same building and we are able to get along, work together, do what’s right for the community, along with our other first responders EMS and the Fire Department,” Martinez said. “There’s just great camaraderie that we share and I hope it never changes.”
Mayor Dan Fankhauser read a proclamation declaring May 12-18, 2019, as National Police Week, and publicly saluted the service of law enforcement officers in our community and communities across the nation.
“We further appreciate the service of our Garden City Police Officers, Finney County Sheriff’s Deputies, dispatchers, Finney County EMS and the Garden City Fire Department and others who do their part to help our citizens,” Fankhauser said. “Thank you for your dedication to our community.”