Fallen Officers Honored at Upper Peninsula Peace Officer Memorial

More than 80 fallen officers were all honored Thursday at the Upper Peninsula Peace Officer Memorial Service.

The service is held in a different place across the U.P. every year and this year law enforcement from across the U.P., Wisconsin and Ontario came to Sault Ste. Marie for the special ceremony.

9 & 10’s Blayke Roznowski and photojournalist Noah Jurik take us to the touching tribute. 

"I’m just a common police officer, that is what I know," Michigan State Police 8th District commander Capt. John Halpin said. 

It was an emotional ceremony in the James Norris Event Center in Sault Ste. Marie honoring 84 officers who died in the line of duty at the Upper Peninsula Peace Officer Memorial Service.

"It’s very heartfelt to recognize our fallen comrades for the ultimate sacrifice that they paid," MSP Sault Ste. Marie post commander F./Lt. Joseph Shier said.

It started with a procession of vehicles from all across the Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin and Ontario through downtown. 

Then all of the officers filled the room.

Each fallen officer’s name was read out loud. 

"You hope that your family member gave up their life for a reason and when so many people honor them, it means the world," Jackie Venton said. 

Jackie Venton and Patty Allison came to honor their loved one, Det. John Weir of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Department who died in 2004.

"My father was my best friend ," Venton said. "Everyone loved him. He was kind and loyal and he, as much as I wouldn’t want him to, he would’ve probably put his life on the line again because that’s the type of person he was."

"It’s very humbling. It’s very honoring," Marquette City Police Department Chief Blake Rieboldt said. "It’s hard to explain what they’re going through emotionally with the loss of an individual in this career field."

The ceremony was also a reminder of how current law enforcement put themselves in harm’s way every day.

"You look at the current officers too and you think, please be safe,"  Venton said.

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