AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) - More than 40 names of men and women in law enforcement who lost their lives in the line of duty, were read for students in the Erie Community College Law Enforcement Training Academy Tuesday morning.
"The academy is a 20 week program that transitions people from being a student, to becoming a police officer. Not only do we do it to honor those who pay the ultimate sacrifice, but also to remind them and reinforce what they are getting into," Director of Erie Community College Law Enforcement Training Academy Edward Hempling said.
Officer in training Richard Hy said it is important to take a moment to remember.
"To remember people that have fallen is a big part of the brotherhood of law enforcement. To show that you care about these people and their sacrifice, it says a lot about the character of the people who run the program here at ECC," Hy said.
Each year, the class in training gives a plaque to say 'thank you' to those officers who came before them. This year was a bit different. A memorial stone was donated and put on display outside the academy, along with a memorial wreath.
The rock presented at the ceremony was donated by the 117th Basic Police Class. It has a special meaning. Members of this class said they were touched by the ultimate sacrifice of Trooper Kevin Dobson who lost his life in March of last year.
"They were here when officer Kevin Dobson was struck and killed by a vehicle in the line of duty. They were so touched by how they identified with Dobson and his family," Hempling said.
That stone will be officially dedicated to Trooper Dobson in August with the 117th class and his family present.
In the meantime, those preparing to take over the duties of the fallen heroes said they have a lot to live up to but are ready to take on the challenge.
"You hear a lot about honor and respecting one another. It is one thing to show it, and then do it," Hy said.