By Matthew Medger
Source Boston Herald
President Biden started his Sunday afternoon doing exactly what Norwood Police Chief William Brooks hopes most people will do each year with the coming of National Peace Officers Memorial Day.
“I think people, who think politically about the role the police can play, on a day like today, I hope they have at least an appreciation or an understanding that the people who have taken the job have it. done because each of them wanted to be helpful,” Brooks said.
That’s precisely what Biden called on the nation to do from the Capitol’s West Front in Washington, D.C., where he was joined by the families of 563 officers who died in the line of duty to mark the annual event. commemorating law enforcement officers killed on the job.
Biden said he didn’t know the dead, but we all know what kind of people they were.
“Although I didn’t personally know your husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, I did know them,” Biden said.
“They were the first to rush in to help when everyone was running away…even in primary school they would step in when someone else was being threatened or bullied, whatever the odds. Think about it, it was part of their DNA.
According to Jim Machado, executive director of the Massachusetts Police Association, that is exactly what police officers are.
“No matter the obstacles, the men and women of law enforcement dress up every day to protect the citizens they are sworn to protect,” he said by email.
Machado was in DC for activities surrounding National Police Week, which takes place the week of May each year around May 15, which is National Peace Officers’ Day of Remembrance, after it was adopted in 1962.
Machado said he attended a candlelight vigil on Friday for the families of more than 600 officers whose names were added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
“It is important each year to pause, reflect and honor those who are no longer with us and let their loved ones know that we mourn with them and salute their sacrifice,” he said.
Brooks said police are the kind of people who rush in when others run away, a phrase he acknowledged was a cliche.
“They all took the job because they were ready to rush in an emergency. I hope people will stop for a minute and think about this,” he said.
Brooks pointed out that officers who responded to a mass shooting this weekend in Buffalo, NY, were on the scene within two minutes.
“How many people would rush out there and get involved,” he asked.
Biden also referenced the Buffalo shooting, expressing his condolences to the families of the victims. He said he didn’t have to explain that kind of loss to any of the families gathered on Sunday.
“Nobody understands that better than the people sitting in front of me … about how those people in Buffalo feel today when they got the call,” he said.
Last year, 617 officers were killed, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. Of those killed, 440 were lost to COVID-19.
©2022 MediaNews Group, Inc.
Go to bostonherald.com.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.