National Police Week 2020 - a fallen officer tribute

By Brenda Meadows

Staff Writer

National Police Week, May 10-16, is a collaborative effort of organizations around the U.S. dedicated to honoring America’s law enforcement community.

“National Police Week is an opportunity for all active and retired officers to recognize those officers who gave their all in the service of their local community,” said Branson Police Chief Jeff Matthews. “This week, the Branson Police Department is recognizing a few Missouri police or sheriff officers who lost their lives in the service of their community. Each morning at 8 a.m. we are sharing an officers story on our social media platforms.”

The Department BPD will also be hosting a daily afternoon post by the Department of History and Information. The BPD has placed a missing officer table in its lobby to memorialize the fallen. On Thursday, May 24, the BPD will post a video of Ned Reynolds narrating the Missing Officer Table to its social media platforms.

The BPD also has a missing officer table in its lobby to memorialize the fallen heroes. Thursday, May 14, the BPD will post a video of Ned Reynolds narrating the Missing Officer Table narrative to its social media platforms.

“Each officer was a sister, brother, mom, dad, son or daughter and served a local community: A community the officer selected to serve as their community,” Matthews said. “Officers across the country serve because it is a personal calling, more than just a job. Officers share that connection no matter where they serve. Every officer has a story and this week we are pausing to share a few of those stories to honor them.”

BPD is working on a special project for a new PD building to highlight the history of the department. BPD has a request that “If you have any historical stories, photographs or information that you would like to share, send them to our Facebook page via Messenger or email them to us at slayton@bransonmo.gov.”


A group of children surround Officer Lappin at the Hollister Grape Festival while she get their finger prints. (Special to Branson Globe)

President John F. Kennedy proclaimed that May 15 would be known as National Peace Officers Memorial Day. That was in 1982, 32 years ago, and it is still an important part of saluting America’s law officers. It later became National Police Week, which is the during the same week National Police Day is observed.

Officer M.D. Lappin of Hollister Police Department says the people of Hollister show their appreciation to them for their service to the community year round. But, it is not the same as during National Police Week.


Sgt. Peggy Vassallo is a fallen officer recognized on the Branson Police Department Facebook page. (Special to Branson Globe)

“People bring us treats and sandwiches and things like that,” she said. “They make us feel appreciated. But, Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week is a time we all honor our fellow ‘Brothers and Sisters’ that have given the ‘Ultimate Sacrifice’ and died in the line of duty, or who have been disabled in the line of duty. No words can express the tragic loss of a fellow officer that has died while serving and protecting their communities.”

More information on all of Missouri’s fallen law enforcement can be found at: https://www.missourimemorial.com/.


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