Ten local law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty since Colorado became a state in 1876 were remembered in Durango.
A memorial walk in honor of the fallen officers took place Saturday morning as part of National Police Officer’s Memorial Week.
A parade, memorial service and community barbecue were part of the event, which attracted about 500 community members.
“We’ve been fortunate that it’s been a number of years since we’ve lost an officer, but it’s something that happens quite frequently throughout the year somewhere,” said Lieutenant Ed Aber of the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office. “So it’s an opportunity to reflect on a service that’s provided.”
The event started with a parade of law enforcement vehicles from several departments up Main Avenue. The parade started at East College Drive and proceeded north to the Durango Community Recreation Center, where a memorial was held at the amphitheater.
Of the ten officers who were honored, four were from La Plata County Sheriff’s Office, two from Colorado State Patrol, one from Durango Police Department, one from Southern Ute Division of Gaming and one was an officer from the Secret Service. An officer from Cortez Police Department was also honored.
A ribbon with the fallen officer’s name was given to the chief of each department of the officer or presented to surviving family members.
“It’s just important to remember those officers who have died in the line of duty providing service to this community,” Aber said. “And we should never forget. We should always remember.”
After the memorial, guests walked with law enforcement down the Animas River Trail to pay respects to the fallen officers. The group walked to Rotary Park, where a community barbecue featuring food, T-shirts and bouncy castles, took place. There was also a poster with a brief description of each of the fallen officers and signs listing all the recently fallen officers from around the nation.
Aber was pleased with the community attendance and engagement of the event, he said.
“That really is what makes Durango and La Plata County such a special place,” he said. “To get that many people to come to an event is pretty big.”