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Alaska law enforcement officers gather for Peace Officer Memorial Day

This memorial coincides with National Police Week and National Peace Officers Memorial Day across the country.
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 8:35 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska Department of Public Safety held its annual Peace Officer Memorial Day ceremony outside of the Alaska Scientific Crime Detection Lab in Anchorage to honor the 68 officers that have died in the line of duty in Alaska.

This memorial coincides with National Police Week and National Peace Officers Memorial Day across the country.

“This day has a lot of meaning for law enforcement,” said Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell. “This recognizes the sacrifices and it shows the families that we will never forget.”

During the service, names of the 68 officers on the federal, state and local levels who’ve died on the job in Alaska were read aloud, and a bell was rung after each name was read.

Cockrell, a former Major in the Alaska State Troopers, said he went to the academy with one of the fallen officers named on Friday and said Peace Officer Memorial Day brings sadness, hope and pride in the work Alaskan law enforcement officers do every day.

“This day is one of those days that I have to sit back and reflect once I get home,” Cockrell said. “There’s a lot of deep meaning and there’s a lot of emotions on this day.”

This year, no new names were added to the memorial in Anchorage, and Cockrell said he hopes they never have to add another one.

The Department of Safety also held a wreath-laying ceremony at Evergreen Cemetery in Juneau, and a memorial ceremony at Trooper Scott Johnson and Trooper Gabe Rich Memorial Park in North Pole they held.

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