MINT HILL, NC – Over the last 60 years, Peace Officers Memorial Day has been celebrated annually on May 15, a date signed into law in 1962. Traditionally, the entire week, otherwise identified as National Police Week, is celebrated to honor the fallen. On May 11 in Washington D.C., the week kicked off with the National Police K-9 Memorial, then a candlelight vigil on May 13. The week was capped off on Peace Officers Memorial Day with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Law Enforcement Memorial.
Lieutenant Thomas McKenzie led MHPD’s efforts, leaving on May 9 from Charlotte to bike over 500 miles to Washington D.C. to honor those lost in duty. MHPD Honor Guard then proceeded to drill on May 13 where agencies from all over Mecklenburg County participated in the Police Memorial Service held Uptown for agencies of Mecklenburg County. Each year, the Mint Hill Police Department participates to remember these officers and mark their lasting importance to their communities, as well as acknowledge the loss their families and friends still endure.
We don’t forget the sacrifices that so many have made for the remainder of the year; we just embrace the week to celebrate the dedication to serving others and remembering those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in law enforcement. This year for the Mint Hill Police Department was no different in its short history. The department has never lost an officer due to a line of duty death, yet the risks are known. Over 450 line of duty deaths were recorded for 2021 with causes of firearms and vehicles jumping both 38%.