Today was filled with events across the nation and in western Massachusetts to remember police officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
This morning, state and local officers gathered at Springfield Technical Community College to pay their respects.
“Sad that he’s on there,” said Doris Beauregard-Schecrallah.
Beauregard-Schecrallah knows what it’s like to lose.
“It’s always a bittersweet memory of having his name on the wall here," Beauregard-Schecrallah added.
In 1985, her husband, Alain, serving with the Springfield Police Department, was killed in the line of duty.
Beauregard-Schecrallah said that days like National Peace Officers Day help let her know she’s not alone.
“It does help us. It helps the family knowing that they’re not forgotten and coming together to help each other and rebuilding our lives," Beauregard-Schecrallah explained.
Tuesday's memorial is a part of a larger recognition for police. In fact, this entire week is dedicated to honoring the men and women in blue.
After 20 years on the force, Greenfield Police Chief Robert Haigh is now the leader of the Western Massachusetts Police Chiefs Association. He told Western Mass News that it’s tough looking at this memorial which holds the names of so many fallen heroes.
“It doesn’t much matter, I guess, if it’s right in your backyard or across the country. You don’t want to see law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty," Haigh said.
Haigh said that now, more than ever before, officers are facing scrutiny for the job that they do.
“It makes it a little bit more difficult and officers out there right now are unfortunately, are thinking about a whole lot of things that they shouldn’t be thinking about to keep themselves safe," Haigh noted.
Haigh added that there’s only so much officers can do to keep the bad guys locked up - the onus lying with lawmakers as well.
"We can take them off the streets when they do something, but it’s not us to keep them in," Haigh explained.
A change Beauregard-Schecrallah supports.
“We do have to do a better job of keeping the criminals inside the jail. Staying in there and not releasing, especially those with such long lists of arrests. It’s sad to see that they’re being let go earlier than they should be," Beauregard-Schecrallah said.
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