A quilt for the officers
Three local quilters have a heart for police officers.
When they heard about a banquet that honors the men in blue, they went to work, making a patriotic quilt for the event.
National Police Week and National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Day is a national event to raise awareness and honor those officers who gave their lives and the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.
This year, National Police Week is Sunday, May 13 through Saturday, May 19.
Every year during National Police Week, the Prineville Police Officers Association puts on a private dinner banquet. The association is a nonprofit group made up of all Prineville police officers and dispatchers.
"It's a time of the year where all of the dispatchers, police and some invited guests can come together to honor the achievements of the prior year and honor the fallen officers of 2017," explained Prineville Police Capt. Larry Seymour.
Typically, a few businesses will donate items to the association.
Each officer and dispatcher who purchases a dinner receives a couple of door prize tickets in an attempt to try and win one of the items that was donated.
"This occurs towards the end of the banquet and is something fun to do before it ends," Seymour said. "After the ceremony is over, we post a thank you to the local businesses that donated an item."
Bullseye Firearms owner Lissa Remington said she and her husband, Bill, had donated a firearm last year and had already planned on donating a knife this year.
"We knew there was a need for donations, and when we heard about the ladies' idea to make and donate the quilt, we told the Police Department about the quilt, and they were very excited," she said.
The three quilters, who do not wish to receive any notoriety, made the quilt for Bullseye Firearms so the business could donate it to the Prineville Police Department Awards Banquet.
Seymour describes the quilt as their beautiful version of the Thin Blue Line American Flag that represents law enforcement in the United States.
"This blanket was brought to us, and it was different than some of the other donations as it was handmade," Seymour said. "It was something that every officer knows the meaning of and in general was just a very special donation."
Because it is a formal awards banquet, the association has not used it as a forum to raise money for any particular cause — until they received this quilt.
Instead of using the quilt as a prize, and after consulting with the quilters, they decided that they would try and use the quilt to raise money for the Oregon Fallen Officers Fund, which is similar to its national counterpart, except it goes to help Oregon families who have lost a family member in the line of duty.
Seymour said they plan to sell raffle tickets to all invited banquet guests, and they will choose a winner at the end of the night. All of the money raised from the quilt raffle will be donated to the Oregon Fallen Officers Fund.
"Chief (Dale) Cummins and I are truly honored at all the support we receive from our community on a daily basis. With all that's going on in the world, it's amazing to be able to work in a city where citizen support is so high. I think it says a lot about our community and the LEOs (law enforcement officers) that keep it safe," Seymour said. "The quilt was a very nice gesture that obviously took a lot of time to create, and to know it was created by three pillars of our community makes it an item that will not only make the winner happy, but will also help an Oregon Fallen Officers' family."
Peace Officers Memorial Day
The public is invited to attend a flag ceremony at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 15 at the Crook County Courthouse.