Honoring the brave during Police Week

Members of the 72nd Security Forces Squadron’s Charlie Flight, including Airman 1st Class Ryan Walsh, pictured, read the names of 143 law enforcement officers, Airmen and Military Working Dogs killed in action in 2016 during the National Police Week’s memorial service at the Tinker Chapel May 15. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

Members of the 72nd Security Forces Squadron’s Charlie Flight, including Airman 1st Class Ryan Walsh, pictured, read the names of 143 law enforcement officers, Airmen and Military Working Dogs killed in action in 2016 during the National Police Week’s memorial service at the Tinker Chapel May 15. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

In commemoration of National Police Week, the 72nd Security Forces Squadron honored the fallen in a memorial service at the Tinker Chapel May 15.

Paying tribute to the brave men and women in law enforcement who made the ultimate sacrifice in 2016, members of Security Forces read the 143 names of the fallen Airmen and K-9 from each state before giving a final salute to the wreath in memoriam. To its right was an empty crate in honor of the fallen military working dog, to its left stood a pair of boots and cap to honor the fallen Airmen.

Chief Master Sgt. (retired) Matt Dukes, mayor of Midwest City, spoke to members of the Security Forces, a career field he spent 30 years in, while on active duty.

“We come together to honor those who have given their lives in protection of our community, state and our nation,” the mayor said. He went on to describe the law enforcement profession as one that is “inherently dangerous” and one that is among the few that carries the weight that going to work that day, does not always ensure coming home that night.

Currently, the national memorial is adorned with 21,000 names of law enforcement lives that have been lost. So far in 2017, the number of fallen law enforcement officers stands at 48.

“Not many people have the courage to do what you do and stand up to go where you go,” Mayor Dukes expressed. “The best way to honor the fallen is to remember them and learn from them. Look out for yourself, your family and your fellow officers. Thank you for your service to our country.”