Norfolk State University’s Chief of Police and Public Safety, Troy Covington, spoke during the 2016 Defense Logistics Agency Installation Support at the Richmond Police Department’s Peace Officers Memorial Day. The event was designed to remember officers that have made the ultimate sacrifice sometimes required by the job.
So far this year, two Virginia officers have lost their lives serving their communities: Prince William County Officer Ashley Guindon, on her first day of patrol; and State Trooper Chad Dermyer, while he and other officers were participating in a training course and were conducting stops of suspects inside a bus terminal. Covington, former DSCR police chief, said those officers don’t get a second chance.
“The officers we speak of weren’t wounded and they don’t get a do-over,” Covington said. “They don’t get to hold their loved ones and say ‘I love you’ one more time.”
Covington said police officers give their lives for a cause they believe in – the communities they serve. “Their cause is you and me,” he said. “They believed so strongly in making a difference in people’s lives, that day in and day out, they risked their own. They are the first line of defense.”
The 32-year law enforcement veteran challenged the audience, asking how well they knew the men and women that stood between them and harm every day. Covington urged the audience and participants to remember these officers, but to celebrate their lives as well. He also encouraged them to not be afraid to live, laugh and love because tomorrow is not a promise for anyone. “Find whatever you love and do it well,” he said.
Since 1962, the day set aside to honor fallen officers has been observed May 15 in conjunction with National Police Week. Each year since 1982, thousands of police officers converge on Washington, D.C., to participate in planned events honoring those that made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their communities. National Police Week 2016 began May 15 and concluded May 21.
Photo: Jackie Roberts