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Kirtland Defenders conduct Police Week memorial retreat

377th Air Base Wing commander, Col. Richard Gibbs sits with New Mexico law enforcement leadership during the Police Week Memorial Retreat Ceremony at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., May 15. National Police Week is an annual nationwide tribute to law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. National Police Week started Sunday, May 12, and ends Saturday, May 18. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II)

377th Air Base Wing commander Col. Richard Gibbs sits with New Mexico law enforcement leadership during the Police Week Memorial Retreat Ceremony at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., May 15. National Police Week is an annual nationwide tribute to law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. National Police Week started Sunday, May 12, and ends Saturday, May 18. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II)

Kirtland Air Force Base Honor Guardsmen stand before lowering the flag during the Police Week Memorial Retreat Ceremony at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., May 15. National Police Week is an annual nationwide tribute to law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. National Police Week started Sunday, May 12, and ends Saturday, May 18. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II)

Kirtland Air Force Base Honor Guardsmen stand before lowering the flag during the Police Week Memorial Retreat Ceremony at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., May 15. National Police Week is an annual nationwide tribute to law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. National Police Week started Sunday, May 12, and ends Saturday, May 18. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II)

Kirtland Air Force Base Honor Guardsmen prepare to hoist the flag after lowering it from half-staff during the Police Week Memorial Retreat Ceremony at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., May 15. When lowering the flag from half-staff, it must first be hoisted to the peak before being lowered. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II)

Kirtland Air Force Base Honor Guardsmen prepare to hoist the flag after lowering it from half-staff during the Police Week Memorial Retreat Ceremony at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., May 15. When lowering the flag from half-staff, it must first be hoisted to the peak before being lowered. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- More than 100 Airmen and local law enforcement officers gathered at Hardin Field here May 15, 2019, for a retreat ceremony in honor of National Police Week.
National Police Week is an annual nationwide tribute to law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. National Police Week started Sunday, May 12, and ends Saturday, May 18.
“Police officers all over the world place themselves in harm’s way every day to protect the communities they love,” said Master Sgt. Seth Stockwell, 377th Security Forces Group. “Today we come together to pay respect to fallen law enforcement members and show our deepest gratitude for their unwavering service and dedication to others.” 
In addition to the retreat ceremony, the Defenders from the 377th SFS hosted several other events during the week, including a ruck march, several sports tournaments and a community outreach day at the Sandia elementary school. Each event had its own special meaning
“We honored the traditions and customs of Police Week,” said Defender Senior Airman Matthew Hopkins. “The memorial ruck symbolized that we will always move toward the threat, and never away. The presentations at Sandia Base Elementary School ensured our youth know that if they are ever in need, we can be counted on to help.”
For the past 53 years, communities across the U.S. have come together to celebrate the lives of those officers who were killed in action as well as the officers who serve today. 
“Whether in combat, in U.S. communities, or on an Air Force base, fellow police officers serve and protect their communities daily,” 377 Security Forces Group Commander Col. Theodore Breuker said. “They serve while never knowing if, or when, they will be called to make the ultimate sacrifice.”