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Viewpoint: Honor those working to keep our community safe

The week of May 14 is National Police Week, with May 15 being National Peace Officer's Memorial Day.

This past year was a deadly year for law enforcement with 63 of the 146 law enforcement professionals killed in 2016 being killed by gunfire. On May 15, the names of the officers killed in 2016 will be engraved on the National Law Enforcement Memorial wall in Washington, D.C., as family, friends and peers in attendance remember their sacrifice. These members of the law enforcement community gave their lives in service to their community and dedication to the law enforcement profession and belief in the Police Officer Code of Ethics.

The Police Officer Code of Ethics was revised in 1989 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and every year the Minnesota Chiefs of Police begin their executive training institute by reciting the code and vowing to do our best to live up to the high standards of the code:

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As a Law Enforcement Officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind, to safeguard lives and property, to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder, and to respect the Constitutional rights of all people to liberty, equality and justice. I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in any official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty. I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudice, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and the relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities. I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and accept it, as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession ... law enforcement.

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As we remember those that gave their lives in the defense of our communities and the Constitution of the United States, may we always strive to uphold the Police Officer Code of Ethics. I am proud to work with the law enforcement professionals of Goodhue County and especially the men and women of the Red Wing Police Department as we work to keep our community safe.

I invite the community to attend our annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service noon Wednesday, May 17, in the Goodhue County Law Enforcement Center Rotunda, as we remember Chief James Daily, Officer John Peterson who died in the line of duty for the city of Red Wing, Officer Shawn Schneider of the Lake City Police Department and Detention Deputy Tom Carroll of the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office.

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