Law enforcement officers, emergency medical services personnel, and the armed forces were recognized this week by the Allegany County Board of Legislators.
Proclamations were issued for Police Officer Week from May 15-21, Peace Officer Memorial Day on May 15, EMS Week from May 21-27, and Armed Forces Week from May 14-23. May also was recognized as Mental Health Month.
Allegany County Sheriff Scott Cicirello, in remarks yesterday to the Board, said he feels it is important to “recognize those who protect and serve us and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while doing so,” noting that during nearly 30 years as a police officer he has worked with, knew or was friends with six police officers who died in the line of duty.
“These were all good men, husbands, fathers and partners,” the sheriff said. “They put on their uniform, donned a bullet proof vest and gun belt, kissed their loved ones goodbye, and never came home.
Every police officer knows this can be their fate, he noted, “but they go to work anyway.”
Cicirello said that being a police officer “is not easy,” reporting that the suicide rate among police officers is the highest of any profession.” In addition, 70 percent of first-time marriages end in divorce, with law enforcement officers (LEOs) also working nights, holidays, and during their children’s special events.
“These are not the kind of statistics you put on a recruiting poster,” the sheriff said.
“The cases that LEO’s investigate can be horrific-crimes against children, suicides, homicides, fatal car crashes ….. knocking on a door to tell a mother and father that their child will not be coming home. These are all daily occurrences for our officers. Not only is the job difficult, the emotional burden can also be difficult to carry.
“So why do they do it? Most will say a sense of duty, to save lives, to serve their communities, to make a difference, and to make their community safer for their children. I don’t know why they all do it, but I can tell you, I am sure glad they do.
“So today, I would like to recognize and honor all members of Law Enforcement in Allegany County. We thank you, respect you, and have your back. To all those we have lost who made the ultimate sacrifice, we remember you, honor you, and we will make sure no one ever forgets you,” the sheriff said.