Lancaster Police Honored in Recognition of National Police Week

May 15, 2012 Updated May 15, 2012 at 12:03 PM EDT

By WKBW News


Lancaster Police Honored in Recognition of National Police Week

May 15, 2012 Updated May 15, 2012 at 12:03 PM EDT

Lancaster, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- New York Congresswoman Kathy Hochul on Tuesday visited the Lancaster Police Department and presented a proclamation in recognition of National Police Week, during which all are encouraged to thank a police officer and remember those who have been killed in the line of duty.

According to a news release:

“National Police Week is about recognizing the service of those who have dedicated their lives to protecting their fellow citizens. Public service is a hallmark of strong law enforcement and our local police forces are true role models. It is my honor to recognize the service of local police men and women and to remember those we have lost in the line of duty,” Hochul said.

“Local officers are confronted by an increasingly brazen and volatile society.  Routine encounters are among the most dangerous and fatal to law enforcement.  Traffic stops, suspicious persons and domestic incident calls lead to officer injury and death as much, if not more, than other categories.  Suburban and rural officers appear as statistically vulnerable as their sisters and brothers in urban centers,” Gerald J. Gill, Jr., Lancaster Chief of Police said.

Hochul also spoke about the need for adequate funding for local police forces and cited the State Department’s cuts to an expensive program to train Iraqi police forces that has proved unnecessary. 

“Just this week we learned that a program funded by the US to train Iraqi police officers has been ineffective. The hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on the program would be put to much better use funding domestic police forces that have been subject to budget and personnel cuts in recent years. I know some of that money could certainly be used right here in Lancaster to build a firing range for training and practice for local police officers,” Congresswoman Hochul added.

Later today, upon her return to Washington, Hochul will vote for the National Blue Alert Act of 2012 to establish a national Blue Alert communications network with the Department of Justice to disseminate information when a law enforcement officer is seriously injured or killed in the line of duty, which will help ensure that perpetrators of violence against law enforcement officers are swiftly apprehended and brought to justice.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as National Police Week.  The week-long recognition honors police men and women across the country, as well as those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. In 1991, The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, which bears the names of thousands of police officers who died in the line of duty, was dedicated by President George H. W. Bush.

Three officers have been killed in the line of duty from the Lancaster Police Department. The names of the three appear on the Memorial in Washington DC.