Law enforcement memorial service set for Friday

Mike Wolanin | The Republic Members of the Columbus Police Department and Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department color guard march away from POW/MIA Plaza at the end of the annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service to honor fallen law enforcement officers in Columbus, Ind., Friday, May 19, 2023.

Law enforcement officers killed last year in the line of duty nationwide will be honored this week during an annual memorial service in downtown Columbus.

The solemn, half-hour observance begins at 9 a.m. Friday at the Public Safety Plaza near Second Street and Jackson Street.

There were 137 officers, including seven from Indiana, who died in the line of duty in 2023, according to Columbus Police spokesman Sgt. Skylar Berry. There were 246 officers killed the previous year that included three Hoosiers.

Those in attendance will be Columbus Police, Bartholomew County Sheriff deputies and Indiana State Police. Representatives from the Columbus Fire Department will also attend.

Every year, a number of private residents – especially business owners – take a break from their normal routines to attend and pay their respects. Berry believes this display of support benefits the entire community.

“It makes the officers feel appreciated and do their jobs better with more tenacity,” Berry said.

Traditionally, the observance features a law enforcement Honor Guard, bagpipers, a “21 gun” salute and the playing of “TAPS.”

The memorial service is on the Friday of National Police Week.