Berrien County community members come together for Police Officer memorial

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. -- More than 100 people gathered on Monday for the annual Peace Officer Memorial Service in St. Joseph.

The memorial honored the lives and memories of 20 local law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty over the past several decades.

Retired Department of Public Safety Officer Denice Fisher spoke on the need to remember fallen officers in an honorable way.

“It's very important that we remember our law enforcement officers in this day and age. Their job is extremely important. Their families have paid the ultimate sacrifice also, because they've been without their loved ones for so many years, and we just want to make sure that we keep the memories of these officers alive and well,” said Fisher.

Following the conclusion of the ceremony, a lone bugler played taps as the police color guard marched, offering one final salute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The memorial also featured a moment of silence for former retired Berrien County Sheriff Nick Jewell, who reportedly passed away on Saturday night at the age of 92.

Current Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey lamented on the passing of the former sheriff, who served from 1969 to 1991.

“He had 23 years as sheriff, did a great job and he was one of my mentors.  He hired me in 1980 and I've seen him on a weekly basis. Just a great man, very loyal, very dedicated to law enforcement,” said Bailey.

The service was held as a part of National Peace Officer Week.

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