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Ceremony held in Parkersburg in honor of police officers for Police Week

WTAP News @ 11 - police week in PKB
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 6:54 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The annual Police Week ceremony was held on Monday morning to honor those who sacrifice their lives everyday to keep citizens safe in Wood County.

The ceremony was held outside of Parkersburg City Hall where police officers and citizens from all over Wood County gathered.

The event started with the laying of the memorial wreath outside of the Municipal Building before heading inside for awards to be handed out, special guest speakers, which included the West Virginia State Treasurer, Riley Moore, and student scholarships being presented.

The President of Blennerhassett Lodge #79 Fraternal Order of Police, Sergeant Beniah Depue, spoke about the significance of Police Week.

“The significance of it is we don’t have very many opportunities to recognize our own and this week was set aside, as well as police officer memorial day which falls in police week, was set aside by President Kennedy for us to remember and reflect on the sacrifice of officers across the country,” said Sgt. Depue.

Some of the awards handed out was the Charles Plum Award, which is given to the officer of the year. There were two winners for this award. For the Vienna Police Department is was officer, Paul Polsey and for the Parkersburg Police Department it was patrolman, Mark Stewart.

The Gary Deem Award is a lifetime achievement award which is given to an officer either active or retired who has shown great professionalism and integrity on the job. This year’s recipient was Michael Deem, who is the son of Gary Deem.

The Penny McClain Award, which is given to a spouse within law enforcement who has gone above and beyond in their field. The recipient of this award was Abigail Pifer, who is the wife of Vienna Police Chief, Mike Pifer.

The Citizen of the Year Award, which is given to a citizen who has gone above and beyond within the community. The winner of this award was Wayne Novak.

The award was the Life Saving Award, which is given to an officer who saved a citizen’s life. The winner of this award was Sgt. Michael Cochran.

Moore shared what it was like to hear stories behind the winners of each of these awards.

“It was really touching to hear what these people do. Obviously, they are not in this for the money. They are in this to better their community and protect the citizens of the various communities that they serve. So I mean I think all the respect is due to the police in our state,” shared Moore.

Besides Moore, a deputy from Homeland Security and a former police officer read a statement from, Governor Jim Justice, who shared his gratitude for all the police officers do for the state of West Virginia.

Moore shared his appreciation for law enforcement and their importance to our everyday lives.

“Blue lives matter and they matter because blue lives take care of all lives and I think we need to honor that. I think we need to elevate these positions in our community, in our disclosure, in our daily engagements here. Without the police, we don’t have law and order, without law and order we have no justice and without that I’m not sure if we have a democracy,” said Moore.

Police week will continue all week long until the final day on Saturday, May 21.

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