Tillis Honors Fallen Officers on National Peace Officers Memorial Day
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) honored the 360 officers who were added to the National Peace Officers Memorial, including six from North Carolina. The officers from North Carolina added to the Memorial were:
Zach C Ramsey, Cherokee County, North Carolina, S.O.Deputy Sheriff Zack Ramsey died in the line of duty on October 2, 1942 at the age of 54. Ramsey served in law enforcement for 8 years.
Jay Russell Memmelaar JR., Goldsboro, North Carolina, P.D. (September 25, 1967-February 16, 2017)Goldsboro Police Major Jay Memmelaar died at 49 years-old. He was a 25-year veteran of the Goldsboro Police Department and was head of the Police Department’s Support Services Division. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Meggan Lee Callahan, North Carolina Dept. of Public Safety-Division of Prisons (May 23, 1987-April 26, 2017)Meggan Lee Callahan died at 29 years-old. She was a Sergeant with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Division of Prisons and had worked with the Department of Corrections since 2012. Sgt. Callahan is survived by her parents, two sisters, and her nephew. She is also survived by her fiancé.
Justin James Smith, North Carolina Dept. of Public Safety-Division of Prisons (July 4, 1982-October 12, 2017)Correctional Officer Justin Smith of Elizabeth City died at the age of 35. Justin worked as a correctional officer since 2012 at the Pasquotank Correctional Institution. He is survived by his mother, siblings, and two nephews.
Veronica Skinner Darden, North Carolina Dept. of Public Safety-Division of Prisons (December 8, 1966-October 12, 2017)Correctional Officer Veronica Skinner Darden, known as “Ronnie” to her friends and family of Belvidere died at the age of 50. She worked as a Correctional Enterprises manager at Pasquotank Correctional Institution for 10 years. She is survived by her husband and two daughters.
Wendy Letitia Shannon, North Carolina Dept. of Public Safety-Division of Prisons (February 18, 1968- October 30, 2017)Officer Wendy Shannon, of Hertford, NC died at the age of 49. Shannon served as a correctional officer at the Pasquotank Correctional Institute for 4 years. Prior to her service in corrections, Shannon served as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army and spent time in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Korea, and Iraq. SSG Shannon received numerous awards for her service to our country which include: Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, three Army Achievement Medals, six Army Good Conduct Medals, two National Defense Service Medals, Southwest Asia Service Medal with a Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Korea Defense Service Medal. She is survived by two daughters, son, and fiancé.
“My deepest condolences go out to the families of the men and women who were added to the National Peace Officers Memorial,” said Senator Tillis. “Law Enforcement officials make tremendous sacrifices each and every day to protect and serve the public. This calling requires them to always put the safety of others ahead of their own well-being, with no guarantee they’ll return home to their families when their shift ends. We will never forget the service and sacrifice of these fallen heroes, and as long as I am a U.S. Senator, I will work to ensure they have the tools, resources and support to do their jobs effectively and stay as safe as possible.”
In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15th falls, as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. This year, National Police Week will run from Sunday, May 13th through Saturday, May 19th.
Today, the names of 360 officers will be added to the Memorial, including 129 who made the ultimate sacrifice during 2017, in addition to 231 officers who died earlier in history but whose sacrifice had not been previously documented. With these additions, there are 21,541 officers’ names engraved on the Memorial, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, federal law enforcement, and military police agencies. On average, one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty somewhere in the United States every 58 hours.