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Members of local law enforcement participated in a flag ceremony in front of the Crook County Courthouse

JASON CHANEY - Local law enforcement officials lower the flag in front of the Crook County Courthouse in honor of those officers who have died in the line of duty.

Members of the Prineville Police Department and the Crook County Sheriff's Office participated in a flag ceremony in front of the Crook County Courthouse Wednesday in recognition of Peace Officers Memorial Day.

May 15 is designated as Peace Officers Memorial Day. The day of recognition was created on Oct. 1, 1961, when Congress asked the President John F. Kennedy to set aside the day to honor peace officers. Kennedy signed the bill into law one year later, Oct. 1, 1962. The day is designated to pay tribute to the local, state and federal peace officers who have died, or who have been disabled, in the line of duty.

The event included a flag lowering in honor of those who have been killed in the line of duty and a brief address given by Prineville Police Chief Dale Cummins and Crook County Sheriff John Gautney. In his speech, Gautney pointed out that 163 men and women in law enforcement lost their lives in 2018, and 42 have died so far in 2019.

The memorial ceremony also included a bagpipe rendition of "Amazing Grace," played by Deputy Al Maich, and the Bell of Honor was tolled seven times as a sign of respect and honor to fallen officers.