As part of National Police Week, Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy and Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond on Wednesday paid tribute to the community’s fallen law enforcement personnel with a wreath laying ceremony at the Law Enforcement Memorial in downtown Chattanooga.
The two agencies typically offer a larger event, but due to COVID-19 restrictions still in place when planning began, the full ceremony, like last year, could not continue in its usual capacity.
The wreath laying ceremony celebrated the service and commemorated the sacrifice made by the members of all law enforcement agencies who have died in service of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, and other municipalities within the county since the late 1800s. The most recent were CPD Officers Nicholas Galinger and Sergeant Joseph Montijo, who gave their lives in the line of duty in 2019.
Chief Roddy said, “In a season when so many lives have been lost, I’m humbled and honored to be able to recognize not only Officer Galinger and Sergeant Montijo, but also pay tribute in this small way to the many officers and their families who gave all to helping others.”
As part of this year’s service, Chief Roddy and Sheriff Hammond welcomed cyclists participating in the Law Enforcement United Road to Hope across Tennessee. Approximately 50 law enforcement officers, including eight with the Chattanooga Police Department, and survivors rode 270 miles in three days in honor of fallen law enforcement officers.
Sheriff Hammond said, “Each year as we observe National Police Week, we remember our colleagues and in many cases, our friends, who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their community. Every day, thousands of law enforcement personnel don the badge and uniform of their respective agency and go forth into the world not knowing if they will return safely to their families. During this special week, we recognize the legacy and sacrifice of our community’s law enforcement and honor those who have been killed in the line of duty.”
National Police Week occurs every May. In 2020, 362 federal, state, military, tribal and local law enforcement officers died in the line of duty, 264 of those were from COVID-19. That is according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.