The various law enforcement divisions in the CNMI came together yesterday to remember those who died in service and to celebrate those who still remain.
Department of Public Safety Commissioner Robert Guerrero said yesterday was the day to recognize the fallen and to appreciate those who still serve the community.
“Today is a day to remember our fallen, for one, and also to give appreciation to our police officers. Show them we appreciate them, show them we work as a team, and we can’t do it if we don’t work as a team,” he said.
In his speech, Guerrero said that law enforcement officers, both living and that have passed, committed their lives to a honorable and noble cause which is to follow a higher standard of integrity, honesty, and conduct.
“You have volunteered to protect our community, its citizens, and those unable to protect themselves. You volun-teered every day to run toward danger, to the sound of gunfire, when everyone else runs away from it. You hold your ground in defense of others so they are able to live safely,” he said. “Those men and women who have carried the cause of justice to their grave deserve not only our respect, but our heartfelt gratitude,” he added.
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres also shared a heartfelt story about his grandfather who served as a police officer for 28 years. In his story, he reminisced about the stories his grandfather would tell about the heroic acts police officers perform on a daily basis without recognition.
“Officers don’t decide who to attend to first or whether to attend to it or not, when calls are made, you go and at-tend it and your life is always in jeopardy. Today I want to thank you for your continued dedication, and to all those officers who have gone before us. Your memory to the department will never end. All you officers, thank you for putting your life and sharing your memories and protecting the pride of the CNMI,” he said.
During the ceremony, a beautiful tree sapling was planted by law enforcement officers in memory of the fallen.
According to DPS, the saplings will grow to blossom beautiful flowers and benches will be contracted around it for family members of the fallen to visit and sit around as they reminisce about the loved ones they have lost in the force.
Law enforcement divisions recognized yesterday were DPS, Department of Correction, Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Commonwealth Casino Commission, Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco Control, Cus-toms and Border Patrol, Fish and Wildlife, and Marshall services.
In attendance, also, was Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police executive director super intendant Carl McLennan.
McLennan, who was on island for a conference, paid his respects by partaking in the festivities.