Bagpipes sounded, officers saluted and guns fired in salute as about 50 fallen Southern Nevada law enforcement officers dating back as far as 1866 were honored Thursday night in the northeast valley.
“Tonight is about remembrance and tonight is about family,” said Metro Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo as about 500 Southern Nevadans, uniformed officers and family members of those killed in the line of duty listened somberly. “God bless each and every one of you and God bless our profession.”
Lombardo was one of several speakers at the annual event, held at Police Memorial Park, 3520 Metro Academy Way. He was joined by North Las Vegas Police Chief Alex Perez, City Councilman and former Metro Police Capt. Stavros Anthony, among other leaders in the Las Vegas Valley police community.
Law enforcement officers from various agencies operating in Southern Nevada, from local to federal levels, represented their respective forces in uniform as they formed a pathway for ceremony presiders and instrumental music groups to pass through. Old Glory flew at half-mast as a bagpipes crew performed “Amazing Grace.” “America the Beautiful,” performed by a local high school choir, followed.
Thirteen new officers, from agencies including the Nevada Department of Corrections, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, were honored in addition to those from Metro, North Las Vegas and Henderson police agencies.
“For different reasons the men and women we honor tonight did not make it home at the end of their shifts,” Anthony said. “All we can do is remember their names, their legacies and the heroes that they are.”
Family members and uniformed officers representing the fallen officers carried white roses to a table with a flower wreath memorial as their names were announced individually. The evening’s most emotional moment came as North Las Vegas Police Detective Chad Parque, who died after sustaining critical injuries in a wrong-way crash on Jan. 7, was honored.
“May God bless you all and keep you safe,” said Nevada law enforcement historian Frank Adams, fighting back tears. “May all officers come home every night.”