South Bend FOP honors lives of fallen police officers
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The South Bend Fraternal Order of Police on Friday celebrated the holidays and honored the lives of police officers who died in the line of duty.
The FOP set up a tree at the training and recruiting bureau of the South Bend Police Department.
They hung up an ornament for each fallen officer and each ornament featured the End of Watch date and agency they served.
After the holidays, the FOP will send out the ornaments to the families of the fallen officers.
The FOP says that this was done so that the officers and their service will be remembered.
“We would want their families and their communities to know that their memory is not forgotten,” James Burns said, an officer for the South Bend Police Department. “We want to constantly honor them and let those folks know — hey, in a small way, the light of the life that they had will never be forgotten.”
Burns went on to say, “Morale is down amongst the police community and this was our way to let not only those folks know but those within our community and our department that even though somebody gives a line of duty we’re not going to forget about them.”
The FOP says this is also an opportunity to raise awareness for mental health. In 2019, 213 officers and retirees committed suicide.
There were 117 ornaments made for the Christmas tree.