Local Law Enforcement Honor Police Week

By: Brendan Ponton Email
By: Brendan Ponton Email

HARRISONBURG -- Local law enforcement officers are celebrating National Police Week, seven days to remember the sacrifices officers make on the job.

A crowd of officers, city employees, and city residents came to a ceremony on Monday morning. The names of the four police officers who have died on the job were read aloud, and "Taps" played.

Sgt. Manual Wilson Trenary died in 1959. He was killed in a robbery. The gunman has never been found.

Patrolman Wayne Stoutameyer, of Bridgewater, was killed in 1976 by a man whom he had arrested a few weeks earlier for driving under the influence.

Rockingham County Deputy Sheriff John Rafter died in 1983 after a prisoner he was transporting to the Augusta County Jail grabbed his gun and shot at him.

In 1983, Grottoes Police Chief William Davies died in a car crash as he was responding to an emergency.

So far in 2013, 41 officers have died on the job throughout the country, including two in Virginia. Harrisonburg Police Chief Stephen Monticelli listed ways to bring that number down: "Recognizing good training, good law enforcement, just keeping the best training to our officers that we can give, and the realization that the job they're doing out there is a tough one."

Commonwealth's Attorney Marsha Garst gave a passionate before the crowd gathered in front of the Public Safety Building. "We call them police, but I call them heroes because everyday they leave their home, not knowing if they will return," she said.

In addition, downtown businesses will display blue ribbons in their front windows to show respect. On Tuesday, a Wall of Service for past police chiefs will be dedicated.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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