This week (May 10-17, 2020) we observe National Police Officers Week. Typically, the event would be commemorated with thousands gathered in Washington, DC to pay tribute and respect to our fallen officers. Of course, due the coronavirus pandemic, that will not be possible. With that said, Delaware County Sheriff Craig Dumond would like to share a message with area residents about why this week is so important and what it means to be a police officer.

"We in law enforcement have to face the reminder that any day could be the day. Our rank or position is not important. Whether administrator, investigator, supervisor, or patrol officer, we must stay on guard. It can happen any day, anywhere, or at any time. Someday, any one of us may, indeed, be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of our duty. What is remarkable is that Police Officers know that already. They understand what is expected from them upon taking the oath to serve.

But, perhaps, at times, some citizens do not understand this. So, I will take this opportunity to speak to the public for just a moment. Please remember that being a law enforcement officer for most of us is a calling, not just a job. Honorable law enforcement officers never shut it off, they are public servants 24/7, always on guard, always willing to serve. We work long shifts, holidays, weekends, and overnights. We miss family events, our children’s school and extra-circular functions, endure scars, and sometimes witness the worst humanity has to offer. Despite it all, you may wonder why we still do it. Remember that we just cannot help ourselves. We must continue in the service of our community, because in each of our hearts, being a law enforcement officer is truly a calling.

I would like to recognize our service with a prayer. I am not the author of this prayer, but I would like to think that I know what the author meant as he wrote these words.

Lord, I ask for courage Courage to face and conquer my own fears Courage to take me where others will not go

I ask for strength Strength of body to protect others And strength of spirit to lead others

I ask for dedication Dedication to my job, to do it well Dedication to my community to keep it safe And, please, Lord, through it all, be by my side

So, as we recognize this week to honor our fallen police officers everywhere, I also challenge you to take a moment to honor the courage, strength, and dedication of the members of the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office and all police officers throughout this County, State and Nation. May God bless them and always keep them safe."