I had the honor of attending the annual Pierce County Law Enforcement Memorial last week with Deputy Mayor Kathy Hayden and Deputy Chief Jeff Engel. And this past Monday, we proclaimed May 15 as Peace Officer Memorial Day and the week of May 12th as Police Week. But none of this seems enough.
The Memorial Ceremony honors those who gave their lives in the line of duty, but it also pays tribute to courage and dedication of those who survive our fallen officers. That includes family, friends and colleagues across departments like Sumner’s.
We ask a lot of our officers. In 2018 alone, Sumner Police responded to over 17,800 calls for service. Think about that number. That’s an average of over 48 calls per day and doesn’t count proactive work like emphasis patrols, traffic stops or mutual aid to our neighbors.
So if these tributes are not enough, what else can each of us do? Help them. Stop at the stop signs. Put down distracting devices while you’re driving. Understand that driving the speed limit and keeping everyone safe around you is more important than the extra 30 seconds you’d like to gain. Call 911 if you see something amiss. Don’t simply decide that trouble or the threat of trouble must be someone else’s problem.
For a truly safe community, it’s always a partnership. Police respond, but we have to call, report and participate. For non-emergency situations, you can even file a report online. Your vigilance and participation will be the best way to honor and support police all year long and hopefully keep any more names from being added to the memorial list.
Mayor Bill Pugh