20th SFS recognizes Police Week
By Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves, 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 21, 2018
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- With humidity hanging in the morning air and the weight of their backpacks dragging them down, law enforcement members and supporters wiped sweat from their brows, ignoring their aching feet as they pressed on toward the completion of their 9-mile ruck march.
The March for the Fallen, which honored the memory of law enforcement members killed in the line of duty, was only one event hosted by the 20th Security Forces Squadron in honor of National Police Week, May 13-19.
“Police Week is a week to honor, reflect, mourn, pay respects and also recognize all of our fallen brothers and sisters in law enforcement, civilian and military,” said Staff Sgt. Katherine Silva, 20th SFS plans noncommissioned officer in charge. “Also, it gets us out there in a positive way because with everything that’s going on in the world … we’ve been getting a pretty bad light shone on us. This kind of lets people know ‘Hey, we’re human too.’”
Other events offered to Team Shaw members and local police included opening and closing ceremonies, a Defenders Challenge and a 5K. Some 20th SFS Defenders also used the week to join local schools for shadow programs.
To further educate the base populace about the week’s purpose, a memorial was on display which identified 14 fallen law enforcement Airmen lost in combat since 2001.
By displaying the names and biographies of these Airmen, 2nd Lt. John Colliver, 20th SFS day flight commander, said the memorial showed Team Shaw members why the week is observed and made their stories more real to the readers.
As the closing ceremony came to an end, the names and stories of the fallen read aloud and the flag folded in their honor, participants of the week’s activities left with a new understanding of the sacrifices police make.
Colliver said he hoped Police Week allowed them to have fun during its events, opened their eyes and, if nothing else, built connections between the community and law enforcement.