HELENA – On Wednesday afternoon, local law enforcement agencies honored all the Montana officers who have given their lives in the line of duty.
Representatives from agencies like the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Montana Department of Justice held a wreath-laying ceremony at the law enforcement memorial at the Montana State Capitol Complex. Sheriff Leo Dutton and two deputies from the LCSO Honor Guard placed the wreath.
“It’s a great honor to be a part of this, to show our respect for those who have fallen in the line of duty and have made the ultimate sacrifice for our communities,” said Senior Deputy Andy Haegele, who has served on the honor guard for about three years.
The wreath was donated by the Montana chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors, also known as Montana COPS. The nonprofit organization provides support and resources for families and colleagues of officers killed in the line of duty.
Leaders said they placed the wreath to mark the holiday season. They say, especially at this time of year, it’s important to recognize what these officers and their families gave to help keep the public safe.
“This Christmas, there will be kids without fathers and kids without mothers,” said Dutton. “We want to appreciate their sacrifice.”
The law enforcement memorial includes the names of more than 100 officers from law enforcement agencies around Montana who were killed in the line of duty. Dutton said they also place a wreath at the memorial on May 15, for National Peace Officers Memorial Day.