Law enforcement officers who gave their lives or were disabled in the line of duty are honored today, national Peace Officers Memorial Day.
Gov. Mark Dayton issued a proclamation ordering flags flown at half mast from sunrise to sunset today in recognition of their sacrifices.
Included in the day’s events will be a ceremony at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C., where the name Minnesota’s most recent slain officer will be added to the roll. Mendota Heights Police Officer Scott Patrick killed in the line of duty last summer and his family will be on hand for the dedication.
According to the governor’s office, 272 Minnesota law enforcement officers have died in Minnesota over the years; the first in 1874. Nationally, an average of 160 officers are killed each year.
The Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association, established in 1974 to honor fallen and injured peace officers, dedicated a memorial at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport in 1977 and recreated it on the state Capitol grounds in 1995.