A ceremony will be held today to honor more than 200 West Virginia law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.
The event is being held during National Police Week, which started Monday, said Rodney Miller, executive director of the West Virginia Sheriff’s Association.
The ceremony will begin with a wreath laying at 7 p.m. at the West Virginia Law Enforcement Memorial, located on the patio of the Greenbrier Street side of the West Virginia Culture Center. At 8 p.m., there will be a candlelight vigil held in front of the Capitol Complex on Kanawha Boulevard.
Miller said the ceremony will be held in conjunction with the 26th-annual candlelight vigil at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC.
“We have participated it that once before, but we thought it needed a spark to get it going again here in West Virginia,” he said.
Miller said he began hearing that several groups wanted to do something special for National Police Week and together they created tonight’s event.
Several families who had loved ones die in the line of duty will attend. Sarah Janey-Bragg, niece of Putnam County Sheriff’s Deputy John Janey, will be the keynote speaker. John Janey was killed at age 32 in 1989 while attempting to arrest a Hurricane man, who allegedly tried to set fire to a home on Cow Creek. A struggle ensued and Janey was shot three times — in the side, chest and head. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin will also speak about the importance of police work.
The event is being hosted by the state Sheriff’s Association; the West Virginia Auxiliary-Wives Behind the Badge; the West Virginia State Police Half Units; the State Fraternal Order of Police; and the West Virginia Deputy Sheriffs’ Association.
Thursday is National Peace Officers Memorial Day, when people are asked to fly their flags at half-staff.
Reach Travis Crum at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5163.