Weirton honors its law officers at ceremony

OBSERVANCE — Weirton police officers gathered with city officials, residents and other guests in front of the Weirton Municipal Building Monday, taking part in a service in observance of National Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week. -- Craig Howell

WEIRTON — Weirton law enforcement officers, city officials and other guests gathered in front of the Weirton Municipal Building Monday morning to honor those who serve and protect, and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Those in attendance were welcomed by Mayor Harold Miller, who issued a mayoral proclamation recognizing Monday as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and this week as National Police Week, continuing a practice began in the United States in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy.

“A safe city is an attractive city,” Miller said, noting Weirton has been named among the nation’s safest communities on multiple occasions.

The mayor expressed his pride in the Weirton Police Department, calling the officers “top notch,” and thanking them for their service.

“You run straight at the deadly events. You help people. You save people,” Miller said. “I’m proud of you. I always will be proud of you.”

The Rev. Kendon Alexander, brother of Weirton Police Chief Rob Alexander, referenced Hebrews 12:1, saying the race mentioned in the verse is a relay in which one runner hands off the baton to another.

He said the same is true for those officers who have served and sacrificed, handing their duties to the next generation when the time has come.

“They have gone from runners to heaven’s cheering section,” Alexander said.

While no Weirton officers have died in the line of duty, Alexander said, nationwide, 135 officers died in 2017 and, to date, 53 have died this year.

As part of the service, a wreath was placed by the police memorial located in front of the Municipal Building. Hancock County Magistrate Scott Hicks performed the national anthem.