MICHIGAN — This week is National Police Week. It’s a time set aside to honor and remember officers and troopers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Nationally, 146 law enforcement members died while serving their communities in 2019. One of those officers was from Michigan.

The names of fallen state officers are added to the Fallen Trooper Memorial at the Michigan State Police Training Academy near Lansing. A total of 53 State Police Department members have given their lives while on duty since 1917.

“These officers put other people’s needs in front of themselves, and we need to remember that,” said Michigan State Police Trooper Stacey Rasanen. “They are very special people, and we all know that we took an oath to protect our community, but they went to the ultimate extreme and gave their lives. And we need to remember their family members and their children and make sure that they know that we’re there for them.”

Due to the COVID–19 pandemic, the Michigan State Police held a memorial service virtually earlier this month, honoring the state’s 53 fallen officers.

Taking time this week to show appreciation for local officers and troopers who risk their lives serving and protecting their communities can have a big impact.

“Sometimes as far as being a police officer or a trooper, we get bogged down with seeing bad situations,” Rasanen said. “So sometimes we don’t remember that we do make a change. They might be small changes in our community, but we’re here and it’s just sometimes a nice thing to do remember to thank them so that they know that we’re doing something to help their community. A lot of the community members are very grateful for us being here and we see that, whether it’s thank you cards or a thank you at the gas pump. We really appreciate that.”

For more information on National Police Week, click here. History and details of the Fallen Trooper Memorial can be found here. To watch the virtual memorial service, click here.