Law enforcers from throughout Kane County take part in a one-week tribute to the dedication of the men and women, past and present, who protect communities nationwide during the city of Aurora’s annual “National Police Week” celebration, May 10 to 16.
The event includes the Kane County Chiefs of Police annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Ceremony on Wednesday, which honors Kane County officers who have been killed in the line of duty.
2015 marks the 19th straight year the Aurora Police Department is celebrating the week, which has been observed nationally since President John F. Kennedy’s 1962 proclamation that designated the week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. The same proclamation named May 15 as National Police Officer’s Memorial Day to honor those officers who have been killed in the line of duty.
On Saturday, May 16, the community is invited to APD’s annual Memorial Ceremony which will salute current and former police officers and feature family-friendly events and activities.
The day will begin at 10 a.m. in the Memorial Plaza outside the Aurora Police Department’s Headquarters, 1200 E. Indian Trail, with a service dedicated to the memories of Alfred Olin and Thompson Richardson, the only two Aurora Police officers ever killed in the line of duty. Also memorialized will be three retired Aurora Police officers who passed away since last year’s police week: Officer Perry Rusher, Sgt. Mel Renaud, and Lt. Terry Dennin. The Aurora Police Honor Guard will stage formations and a gun salute during the ceremony.
In addition, the names of Officers Maria Frausto-Lee, Mark Knepp, Steve Henderson, Shireen Long; Sergeants Jim Coursey and Dave Johnston; Lt. Nick Coronado, and Court Detention Technicians Judy Harreld and Elaine Jenkins will be officially unveiled on the Aurora Police Service Wall. The wall honors APD employees who retired after 20, 25, and 30 years of service. Officers and civilian support personnel hired since last year’s police week will also be formally introduced.
Following the ceremony, the community is invited to meet Aurora police officers, get a close-up view of one of the specialized vehicles used by the Special Response Team; and children will be able to have their pictures taken in an authentic Aurora Police uniform and try their luck at a dunk tank sponsored by the National Latino Peace Officers Association.
In addition, a vintage baseball game will be played under the original rules established in the 1800s between the Aurora Town Club, a team consisting of Aurora Police officers; and the Aurora Legends, a team made up of past Aurora fast pitch softball stars at Simmons Park across from the police headquarters. Food will be available for purchase throughout the morning courtesy of the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association.
At 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13, the Kane County Chiefs of Police will hold its annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Ceremony at the Mooseheart Church of God on Route 31 between North Aurora and Batavia. The non-denominational service will feature a candle lighting vigil to honor Kane County officers who have been killed in the line of duty as well as formations from area police honor guards and pipe and drum units.
The special guest speaker is Illinois State Police Trooper Douglas Balder who was critically injured in a crash on Jan. 27, 2014 on I-88 and Eola Road. The crash, which claimed the life of Tollway worker Vincent Petrella, occurred when the two men were assisting the driver of a semi that had become disabled when a second semi plowed into their vehicles causing a massive fire.
On Tuesday, May 12, the annual Exchange Club of Aurora ‘Police Officer of the Year Luncheon’ will be staged at 11:30 a.m. at Gaslite Manor, 2485 Church Rd. Three Aurora Police Officers are nominated for the 2015 award which has been an annual tradition since 1963.
For information on any of the activities call (630) 256-5008.
SOURCE: city of Aurora press release