City officials and community members Tuesday gathered in Bloomington to honor fallen and disabled police officers. Peace Officers Memorial Day began 50 years ago and recognizes those who have served at the federal, state and local levels.
As horns played and a flag was raised, veteran officers reflected on how being on the force has changed.
Bloomington Police officer Robert Neely has been on the force for more than 30 years. He says while the job is different than when he started the realities of taking an oath and hoping to return home each day remain.
“People tend to forget, as the incident last Friday showed that a lot of things can change in little sleepy Bloomington things change,” Neely says.
Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan says sometimes police officers are forgotten, even by public officials.
“The inclination in a speech is to say that we remember every day, but the truth is we don’t remember every day and the truth is we do take an awful lot of things for granted that you as Peace Officers have chosen to do as a career and have sworn a duty to do,” Kruzan says.
Neely says that since 1899 only five Bloomington officers have died in the line of duty.