This is National Police week, May 11-17. The week was established by a joint resolution of congress in 1962 to pay special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Yakima Police Capt. Jay Seely says Peace Officers Memorial Day is set for May 15. He says they'll honor officers that day at the department but he says they've decided to wait until August to hold a special ceremony outside the Yakima Police Department to honor officers who have died in the line of duty.

Yakima Police will hold a special ceremony on August 3

He says the Yakima Police Department will hold a special ceremony on August 3. That's the day in 2021 when 38-year-old Sergeant Joseph Deccio died after suffering a medical issue while on duty. Deccio was rushed to Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Tuesday but doctors were unable to save his life. He'll be honored on August 3 when the Yakima Police Department will recognize officers like Deccio who died in the line of duty. The ceremony will be held in front of the Richard A. Zais Law and Justice Center at 200 South 3rd Street.
Members of the Yakima Police Honor Guard will be raising and lowering the flag to half-staff.Traditionally on that day the Guard will also place a memorial wreath and display a poster with the names of law enforcement officers and K-9 officers who died in the line of duty in 2021.

A big increase in line of duty deaths happened in 2021

Line of duty deaths increased 55% in 2021 from 2020 among law enforcement officers nationwide, according to the 2021 Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. 617 officers died last year, 5 of the deaths happened in Washington State.

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