In his 26-year career in public safety, Colleyville Police Chief Mike Holder has never had a National Police Week like this.
The week, which began in 1962 as a way to honor police officers around the country, features a memorial ceremony for officers who died on-duty. In Colleyville, this year, mayor for a day winner Jack Stacy, 11, wanted to honor police officers and firemen with a pizza party.
So on Wednesday, police officials went to Colleyville Elementary School and were treated like heroes by the students as they shared a pizza pie.
“That was a great reminder of why we do what we do,” Holder said.
Colleyville then held its annual ceremony Thursday to honor the fallen officers.
Holder said this day allows not only police officers, but the public, to remember those who have lost their lives. He said that more than 100 officers died while on duty in 2013, but he wanted people to realize that these officers are more than just numbers.
“That’s what makes this day so special,” he said. “It’s a day to look beyond the numbers.”
Southlake hosted a similar ceremony on Friday with bagpipes, speeches and the Dallas Police Department Choir.
“The fact that the nation acknowledges the men and women who lay down their life in service of others is tremendous,” Southlake Police Chief Steve Mylett said.
While the city of Southlake has had no officers die in the line of duty since its incorporation, infamous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde killed two officers in 1934 near West Dove Road.
Guest speaker Dan Salter, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge spoke about how officers overcome the fears of their day-to-day tasks.
“Every time we go into enforcement action we’re scared,” he said. “That fear that we have is overridden by the desire to make things better and save lives.”
Officer Sandra Scott, a military veteran who has served on the Colleyville Police Department for a year and a half, said the day reminds her of the people who risk their lives daily and those she trusts with her life.
“It’s not just come to work, write tickets and bother people,” she said. “We’re here to make a difference.”