Each year, Police Week holds a special place with all of us at the Sun Prairie Police Department as we honor our fallen officers throughout the nation and recognize the dedication and commitment of our Sun Prairie Police Officers and all officers serving our nation.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation that designated May 15th as Peace Officer Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. This week is designed to honor fallen officers and recognize the dedication and commitment of those who live and serve.

Sadly, due to COVID-19, this year’s events in Wisconsin and in Washington, DC have been cancelled.

Our profession has lost numerous officers during the past year, including many to the COVID-19 virus. The idea that their families will need to wait an additional year for closure of seeing their heroes name added to memorials is inconceivable.

On their behalf, and in support of them, let’s take a moment to reflect on those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our profession:

• Total Line of Duty Deaths in 2019: 146, two from the State of Wisconsin

• To date in 2020, the fatality statistics are up 18% with a total of 65 officers

• COVID-19 related deaths could cause dramatic increases as there have been 20 duty related illness deaths in 2020 and there were only two in 2019

During this time of recognizing our nation’s police officers for their dedication and commitment, I want to thank each of our Sun Prairie Police Officers for their hard work, dedication and courage through the COVID-19 crisis.

Everyone has come to work daily, prepared to face the challenges of the crisis and they all continue to provide a high level of service to our community.

I thank them for their commitment and selfless service. As often heard during Police Week, it is not how the officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived. I am so proud that our officers continue to live their lives with passion and purpose.

On Tuesday May 19, at the city council meeting, the mayor will introduce a proclamation reminding our community of police officers, past and present, who by devotion to their duties have rendered dedicated service.

Our officers will be wearing mourning bands during Police Week, Sunday, May 10 at 6 a.m. through Saturday, May 16 at 6 a.m. to honor fallen officers.

Sun Prairie, you can be very proud of the men and women who work for this police department who ensure Sun Prairie is a place where we all can live safely and securely!

Steffes can be reached by phone through the SPPD non-emergency phone number at 608-837-7336.

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