LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – All across our nation communities are gathering for Peace Officer Memorial Week honoring the 129 fallen heroes killed in the line of duty in 2017.  Monday morning, a ceremony at the Auburn Police Department honored the fallen and their families in Lee County.

Every year we gather to remember members of our law enforcement community who have been taken from us by acts of violence,” said Auburn Police Chief Paul Register.

With black bands covering their shields; police officers, state troopers, and deputies gathered to honor their fallen brothers and families. Their names are Opelika Chief Henry Hart, Lee County Sheriff Buck Jones, Opelika Lieutenant Brenton Truitt, Opelika Sergeant Roger Motley and Lee County Deputy James Anderson. They all gave their lives while protecting others.
 
“Roger died protecting a child, which was the best way he could have gone because he was such a family man. From what I understand that child is doing very well, so he did a good job protecting the child.  He lost his life, but in the end, he made a difference,” said Motley’s widow, Juanita Kirkwood.
     
This week, we are asked to take a moment, thank a peace officer and remember their family.  
       
“The mere thought of an officer leaving for his or her shift in perfect health and not returning to the hustle and bustle of their home life is unthinkable. However, so far this year over 100 police officers have left in perfect health but have not returned home,” said Louis V. Franklin Sr., U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama.

The first recorded death of a police officer was in 1791. Since then, there have been more than 21,000 officers killed in the line of duty. This week, those officers and their families are honored and remembered.