(KION) This week is National Police Week, and Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said one of the ways law enforcement will be honored is by reading the names of fallen officers added to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial in 2020 during a Virtual Candlelight Vigil.
One of the 394 names added last year that will be read during the ceremony is that of Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, who was killed in the line of duty during an ambush in Ben Lomond last June.
“This week is a time to honor our law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation,” said Attorney General Garland. “I am constantly inspired by the extraordinary courage and dedication with which members of law enforcement act each day, putting their lives on the line to make our communities safer. To members of law enforcement and your families: we know that not a single day, nor a single week, is enough to recognize your service and sacrifice. On behalf of the entire Department of Justice, you have our unwavering support and eternal gratitude.”
Of the 394 names added, 295 died in 2020 and 99 officers died in previous years.
According to data from the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, about 60% of the officers who died last year, 182 in total, died of COVID-19. The FBI reports that 46 of the officers died as a result of felonious acts and 47 died in accidents.
The names will be read during a vigil on Thursday at 5 p.m. PST, and it will be available to watch live on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund YouTube page here. An in-person Candlelight Vigil is scheduled for Oct. 14.
Read the full list of names that will be read during the vigil here.