Chief Harris organizes ceremony to honor fallen peace officers during National Police Week.
By SARA VANDEN BERGE
National Police Week holds a special place in the heart of Stephenville Police Chief Dan Harris whose great-grandfather was killed in the line of duty as a Texas Ranger.
To commemorate the week, Harris is organizing the first of what he hopes will become an annual local event – a ceremony honoring the 19 Texas police officers who died in the line of duty in 2019.
The ceremony will take place at 7 a.m. on Friday, May 15, in front of the Donald R. Jones Justice Center.
“We will lower the flag to half-staff, play Taps and have a moment of silence,” Harris said. “We also plan to read the names of the 19 Texas police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.”
National Police Week began in 1962 when President Kennedy set aside May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day.
“I am named after my great-grandfather who was shot and killed in the line of duty as a Texas Ranger. Along with a few other instances in my career, this is a very important time for myself and our profession,” Harris said. “It’s a time for our local, state and federal officers to pause and honor the officers that have fallen in the past year.”
Next week, Stephenville police officers will wear a black band across their badge known as the Mourning Band.
Harris said this year’s ceremony will be more subdued and shorter than those that will take place in the future due to the ongoing social distancing guidelines.
It will also be streamed live on the SPD’s Facebook page.