Monday, May 15th, is Peace Officer’s Memorial Day and Sunday marks the beginning of Police Week – a time to remember those lost in the line of duty and for communities to support their local law enforcement.
“Today we’re doing the first Blessing of the Badge ceremony, in which Pastor Bachus will say a few words and bless law enforcement officers throughout the metropolitan area,” explained Captain Wayne Hudson with the Douglas County Sheriff’s office.
At the well-known Salem Baptist Church on 30th & Lake, Omaha Police and Douglas County Sheriff’s officers gathered for the special ceremony.
“Law enforcement is a very tough and dangerous job. So, any type of blessing we can have so that we can go through day to day and do our job safely is really appreciated,” said Captain Hudson.
“We want to say our thanks to you on today,” Pastor Selwyn Q. Bachus, senior pastor at Salem, announced from the pulpit.
“They put their lives on the line every day. And we wanted to, as a part of our church and community, to say to our law enforcement that we support them with all that they face every day,” said Pastor Bachus.
Pastor Bachus delivered a prayer for the officers. He and Captain Hudson say it’s important to have support from their faith community, and the Omaha metro community at large.
“The Omaha metropolitan area really have a really strong relationship between law enforcement and the community, and to me, this will further build upon that relationship,” said Captain Hudson.
“By and large our law enforcement officers seek the support of the faith community and that we work in concert, we work in community, we work together for the better of our large community,” said Pastor Bachus.
Anthony Conner, vice president of the Omaha Police Officer’s Association says it means a lot to know that while they’re putting their life on the line, the community has their back.
“This is a great event, and obviously Police Memorial Week is a somber week for law enforcement officers, especially, with most recent events here in our community. It’s very warming to our hearts. So, we’re very happy to be here and we’re excited to shake some hands and get a lot of hugs also,” said Conner.
Police week was established in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy. Members of the Omaha Police Department are currently celebrating in Washington, D.C. with tens of thousands of other officers around the nation.