AJPD to hold memorial service May 16 honoring officer who died in 1983

Apache Junction Police Chief Thomas E. Kelly stands near a wreath in front of the fallen officer memorial last year at the AJPD Public Safety Building, 1001 N. Idaho Road. He was at a ceremony marking the beginning of National Police Week to recognize the sacrifice of fallen police officers throughout the country and specifically AJPD Officer Russell L. Duncan.

The Apache Junction Police Department joins communities across the U.S. recognizing National Police Week, May 13-19.

“On these dates, we will come together to recognize, honor and remember those law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as the family members, friends and fellow officers they left behind,” Rob McDaniel, AJPD’s community resource coordinator, said in a release.

As part of the observance, a 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 16, memorial will be held in honor of Officer Russell Duncan, who died in 1983. It will be held outside the AJPD offices, 1001 N. Idaho Road.

“Locally, we at AJPD reflect and remember the loss of Officer Russell Duncan who died during a training exercise on Nov. 9, 1983. May he and his family be remembered and honored during this time,” Mr. McDaniel said in the release.

This year, the names of 360 officers killed in the line of duty are being added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. These officers include 129 who were killed during 2017, plus 231 who died in previous years but whose stories of sacrifice had been lost to history until now, according to the release.

Three Arizona peace officers will be included. Their names, agency and date they died are:

  • Alfred Moore, Arizona Department of Liquor Control, Nov. 28, 1965.
  • Paul Lazinsky, El Mirage Police Department, Dec. 12, 2017.
  • Rupert M. Hopkins, Pima County Sheriff’s Office, Dec. 18, 1950.

The names of all 360 fallen officers nationwide were dedicated during the 30th Annual Candlelight Vigil on the evening of May 13 on the U.S. National Mall between Fourth and Seventh streets in Washington, D.C.

On May 15 each year, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary host a ceremony on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol to honor fallen law enforcement officers and their families, according to the release.

In tribute to American law enforcement officers and at the request of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Public Law 103-322 designates May 15 National Peace Officers Memorial Day, which is one of only two days each year during which government agencies, businesses and residents are to fly their U.S. flags at half-staff.

For more information about National Police Week, visit www.LawMemorial.org/policeweek.

The Apache Junction Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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