Nearly 200 officers and staff from 14 law enforcement agencies gathered at First Christian Church in Salem on Thursday to honor officers who died in the line of duty in the Roanoke Valley.
In all, there are 29 fallen officers from Virginia State Police; Roanoke, Salem and Virginia Tech police; and Roanoke and Roanoke County sheriff’s offices between 1892, when Roanoke lost Officer Thomas Mabry, and 2011, when Virginia Tech’s police department lost Officer Deriek Crouse.
This is the memorial’s 13th year and the third time the annual event has been hosted in a Salem church, according to Salem Police Chief Jeff Dudley. Each jurisdiction honored their fallen officers with a rose placed into a blue shield at the front of the church.
“The chiefs and the sheriffs in the valley have agreed that this is something we need to do to honor our fallen officers and to have the staff support this event each year,” Dudley said.