National Peace Officers Memorial Day observed


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Staff report

HUBBARD

Wednesday was National Peace Officers Memorial Day, which pays tribute to peace officers who have died in the line of duty nationwide.

Hubbard residents, police officers and chaplains commemorated fallen officers with a small ceremony at the police station in the afternoon.

Police Chaplain Heather Runscer, who is also a Coalberg United Methodist pastor, read the names of the 42 law enforcement officers who died in 2019 so far in the line of duty nationwide.

Of those, 19 deaths were from gunfire, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page website.

As each name was read, attendees took turns placing a blue carnation on the Hubbard Police Department statue.

The Hubbard Christians in Action group donates the carnations to the police department every year.

During the ceremony, Ben Kyle, the city’s mayor-elect, said Hubbard will always support its police officers.

Bob Thompson, who will begin serving as the city’s interim police chief in the summer, said he appreciates the respect shown to city police officers from the community.

He commemorated Justin Leo, a Girard police officer who was shot and killed in 2017 while responding to a domestic violence call. The death was especially painful for him, because he had conducted training for Girard officers including Leo.

“Today I ask that you keep all officers in your thoughts and prayers, as well as their families who often make the sacrifice they didn’t sign up for,” he said.

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