Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw, speaking during the city’s National Police Week remembrance, said the best way to honor fallen police officers is to have admiration for current officers.
“Respect the law and the officers who enforces it,” Muterspaw said Thursday afternoon at Woodside Cemetery. “Spread the word so that no officer is ever forgotten. Do not make the mistake of remembering once a year what these fallen officers did for you and the citizens of Middletown. Instead, remember it daily.”
During his prayer, Pastor Lamar Ferrell, chaplain of the Middletown Division of Police, mentioned Kirkersville Police Chief Steven Eric DiSario, who was killed in the line of duty May 12. Thomas Hartless allegedly killed his ex-girlfriend and nurse Marlina Medrano, nurses aid Cindy Krantz, DiSario, then himself.
Ferrell said there is “deep sadness” whenever an officer is killed on duty.
“There is a cost of freedom,” said Ferrell, pastor at Berachah Church.
Muterspaw said since the first police officer death was recorded in 1792, there have been nearly 19,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. On average, Muterspaw said, 170 officers across the nation are killed every year.
“We honor all those who gave their life so we are able to sleep safely at night,” he said. “We honor their families as well for the sacrifices they have given. We honor these officers because they have carried out their duties to make our communities and lives safer. Their contribution can not be measured in words.”
A simple thank you, he said, isn’t enough. He said officers stand tall and are “ready to protect the American way of life.”
While most officers return home safely every night from their shifts, some are called upon to “make the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.
“It’s a heavy burden that every police officer accepts,” he said.
Then the flag was lowered to half-staff by Sgt. David Birk and there was a 21-gun salute.