We kicked off events for National Police Week with a memorial for our fallen officers in front of Headquarters today. Three of our widows were present for the ceremony and placed flowers on the monument in honor of their fallen spouses during the ceremony. It was extremely moving.
Our oldest surviving spouse on hand today was Mrs. Steed. Her husband, Ralph Steed, was killed in the line of duty 47 years ago. Five other Chesapeake Police Officers have lost their lives since then. The wives of the last two, Michael Saffran and Jarrod Shivers, were also present.
I held my emotions until 85 year old Mrs. Steed reached out her hand to an emotional Mrs. Shivers as an Honor Guard Officer was escorting Mrs. Shivers back to her seat after she placed flowers on the memorial for Jarrod. Mrs. Shivers stopped and embraced Mrs. Steed in a heartfelt hug with both ladies crying and a collective gasp of emotion sweeping through the crowd as our oldest widow comforted our most recent widow. Mrs. Shivers then stepped over to Mrs. Saffran to hug her in support as well. It was a moment I won’t soon forget.