Law Enforcement Memorial events planned May 17-18

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Sheriff's Office • 100 North Fifth Avenue West • Duluth, MN 55802
Phone: (218) 726-2340 •

Ross Litman

Date: May 8, 2017

Media Contact: Father John Petrich
(218) 348-0247 

Law enforcement memorial events planned for May 17 and 18

Area law enforcement officers and chaplains will gather to honor and remember colleagues who have sacrificed their lives in the line duty, as well as to be blessed, during two events that coincide with National Police Week.

A Blue Mass will be held Wednesday, May 17, at 9 a.m., at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, 2801 East 4th Street in Duluth, to honor those who've died in the line of duty, and to bless those who currently serve. Bishop Paul Sirba will preside.

Meanwhile, the 28th annual Law Enforcement Memorial Prayer Luncheon will be held Thursday, May 18, at noon in the Great Lakes Ballroom in the Holiday Center, Duluth. The luncheon is hosted by the St. Louis County Law Enforcement Chaplain's Association, in cooperation with the Sheriff's Office and the Duluth Police Department.

Keynote speaker this year will be Jake Skifstad, Founder and President of Shield616, a non-profit organization that has been able to provide more than 600 active shooter kits and support groups to officers/deputies/troopers/campus police in eight states. Shield616's name comes from the Bible verse Ephesians 6:16, which states, "Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."

In 2016, nationwide, 143 officers died while serving their communities, a 16 percent increase just from the year before. Another 45 officers have already died this year (through May 5), according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a 29 percent increase from last year at this time.

"We are seeing what has always been a dangerous and stressful profession becoming even more difficult," said Father John Petrich of the St. Louis County Law Enforcement Chaplain's Association. "It's important that we remember these officers who continue to put themselves in harm's way, especially those who've made the ultimate sacrifice. This luncheon gives our brave men and women the opportunity to do that while sharing fellowship with their colleagues."

 National Police Week is May 14-20, 2017.