Story by Kendra Williams on 09/24/2019Police Week is observed every year to honor police officers past and present.
"The whole week is focused around the past, present, and future of peace officers," said Master Sgt. Kristine Feldman, 55th Security Forces Squadron, NCO in charge of operations.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation that designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the concurrent week as Police Week to honor the sacrifices of those who protect and serve our communities.
"Being a peace officer, whether it's military as security forces or as a civilian, it's really challenging," said Feldman. "You have to keep fit because we respond to any and everything. You have to be prepared to work as a team and use that communication, it's not easy."
Various events were planned throughout the week to honor law enforcement members that included a golf tournament, a static display with other civilian law enforcement agencies, a ruck march and a Raiders Challenge obstacle course. The week concluded with a retreat ceremony on Offutt's parade grounds where units from around the base joined in to celebrate Police Week, encouraging comradery between different agencies and across Air Force Specialty Codes.
"It worked out really well," said Staff Sgt. Shawn Rhinehart, 55th SFS response force leader. "The main focus was on teamwork and some basic skills - that's why we were able to include other AFSCs outside of security forces."
Team Offutt members participated alongside SFS members in activities that included responding to downed Airmen, moving ammunition cans, reloading ammunition and moving equipment and supplies.
Police Week also provided an opportunity for security forces members to showcase some of the tools of their trade and to engage with the public in a non-emergency way.
"So this year, the goal for Police Week was more emphasis on community relations," said Feldman. "We have to remind the community that yes, we are always here. We worked with the Omaha Police Department, who connected us with all the surrounding counties for all of the events for Police Week, and we supported each other's events."
Some of the observations can take on a serious tone knowing that some officers have paid the ultimate price while in the line of duty.
"A lot of effort really went into this week," said Feldman. "Yes, it is about remembrance of those who have lost their life in the line of duty, but it's also about building those relationships for the future and this is a great opportunity in which to do it."