Norfolk, Chesapeake recognize fallen officers as part of National Police Week

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — The cities of Norfolk and Chesapeake recognized their fallen officers Tuesday with a pair of moving memorials. Fittingly, they were filled with poignant pageantry.

At Norfolk’s service at MacArthur Memorial Square, a bell tolled with the reading of each of the city’s 39 fallen officers since 1909.

“A lot of the work that the officers do is grueling both emotionally and psychologically,” Norfolk Police Chief Mark Talbot said. “Police officers suffer in the course of their duties. We need to take more time to thank them.”

Drummers and a bagpiper played solemn music with the ceremonial folding of the flag.

In Chesapeake, a dozen fallen officers were remembered at the city’s Police/Firefighter Memorial adjacent to the courthouse. A three-volley, 21 gun salute was followed by taps on a bugle and Amazing Grace on bagpipes.

Police Chief Mark Solesky quoted part of a poem that’s inscribed on one of the granite panels: “I never dreamed it would be me, my name for all eternity, recorded here at this hallowed place.”

Guest speaker, Chesapeake City Manager Christopher Price, talked about the many roles we expect of our police.

“Guardian, role model, protector and bridge builder and peacekeeper and leader,” Price said, “all of the things that we ask our police officers to do every single day.”

Nationally, 137 police officers died in the line of duty in 2023. So far this year, 58 have fallen across the U.S.

Fortunately it’s been many years in both cities since an officer was killed on duty, more than 12 years in Chesapeake — Timothy Shock, in December 2011. Brian Jones was the last Norfolk officer killed on the job in May 2014.

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