It was a somber affair at the old Henderson County Courthouse Monday as the community gathered together for this year’s police memorial.
Hosted by Henderson County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #9, the event honored members of law enforcement who died in the line of duty across the country.
“Henderson is our focus, this area, but we’re looking nationally, we’re recognizing nationally," said HCFOP President and retired Henderson County Sheriff's Office deputy Jermaine Poynter. “We’ve had over 374 line-of-duty deaths last year and then, as of today, we’re at 349 this year so you’re talking seven-hundred something people given the ultimate sacrifice in the past two years.
The memorial fell during National Police Week. Usually taking place in May, events across the county were canceled last year due to the pandemic and postponed this year to October.
“It means the world that we can come together as a community and show not only locally, but nationally that our community and our law enforcement can come together in remembering and honoring those who need to be honored," Poynter said.
Not everyone at the memorial had been personally impacted by that kind of loss, but Henderson County Attorney Steve Gold does know the feeling, and he took the opportunity to share his friend’s legacy with the community.
“Jason Cammack was the first Kentucky commercial vehicle enforcement officer who passed in the line of duty," Gold said. "He’s someone who was always full of life and so driven to do a good job in law enforcement that it just, it was difficult for me but I’m happy to tell that story.”
While the service remembered those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, Gold said it’s also an opportunity to recognize those who currently serve and hopefully bridge the gap between those who wear the badge and those they put their lives on the line for every day.
“It’s a great chance to spotlight all of the brave, courageous things that police officers do all the time to protect us," Gold said.