Fallen police officers honored in ceremony

Created: 05/23/2014 7:37 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Sometimes police are on the receiving end of violence – and sometimes they pay the ultimate price. Friday was a day for Albuquerque police and Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputies to honor those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Police officers armed with shotguns fired a 21-gun salute for the fallen – local lawmen who laid down their lives, starting with a town marshal killed in a shootout in 1886. Albuquerque is still a cauldron of gun violence, and the families of slain officers know it only too well.

“Unless they can disarm all the felons and the wanna-be felons and the criminals that are out of prison, they’re not going to stop it,” said James McGrane, who lost his son Jimmy, a sheriff’s deputy, to a gunman’s bullet in 2006. “It’s going to continue. It just happened last night. I mean it’s going to continue.”

McGrane referred to Thursday night’s fatal police shooting of a man who slashed another man’s throat in Albuquerque’s North Valley.

“We cannot today cover the grief,” said Police Chief Gorden Eden during the memorial ceremonies at the APD training academy. “Nor are we ever able to repay the sacrifice, but we are here today to acknowledge the debt, and that’s the best that we can do. That’s the best that we will do.”

14 city police officers have been killed in the line of duty over the years, along with seven county deputies. That’s 21 families, sharing one common belief – that their loved ones laid down their lives for a noble cause, to protect and serve the rest of us.

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