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Offutt observes National Police Week

Offutt Air Force Base Honor Guard lower the U.S. flag during a retreat ceremony honoring Police Week May 17, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Offutt’s defenders participated in local events as well as coordinating base events to recognize the contributions of police across the nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

Offutt Air Force Base Honor Guard lower the U.S. flag during a retreat ceremony honoring Police Week May 17, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Offutt’s defenders participated in local events as well as coordinating base events to recognize the contributions of police across the nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

Sgt. Jeremy Christensen, Omaha Police Department, plays “Amazing Grace” on his bag pipes during a retreat ceremony honoring Police Week May 17, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Offutt’s Police Week events are a time where military members, their families and communities celebrate police officers and security forces members everywhere. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

Sgt. Jeremy Christensen, Omaha Police Department, plays “Amazing Grace” on his bag pipes during a retreat ceremony honoring Police Week May 17, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Offutt’s Police Week events are a time where military members, their families and communities celebrate police officers and security forces members everywhere. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

Offutt Air Force Base Honor Guard lower the U.S. flag during a retreat ceremony honoring Police Week May 17, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Offutt’s defenders participated in local events as well as coordinating base events to recognize the contributions of police across the nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

Offutt Air Force Base Honor Guard lower the U.S. flag during a retreat ceremony honoring Police Week May 17, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Offutt’s defenders participated in local events as well as coordinating base events to recognize the contributions of police across the nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

U.S. Navy Master of Arms third class Brian Schumann, 55th Security Forces Squadron, leads his team during an evasion challenge May 17, 2018, along the perimeter of Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Offutt’s defenders participated in local events as well as coordinating base events to recognize the contributions of police across the nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

U.S. Navy Master of Arms third class Brian Schumann, 55th Security Forces Squadron, leads his team during an evasion challenge May 17, 2018, along the perimeter of Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Offutt’s defenders participated in local events as well as coordinating base events to recognize the contributions of police across the nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

Members of the 55th Security Forces Squadron low crawl during an evasion challenge May 17, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Offutt’s defenders participated in local events as well as coordinating base events to recognize the contributions of police across the nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

Members of the 55th Security Forces Squadron low crawl during an evasion challenge May 17, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Offutt’s defenders participated in local events as well as coordinating base events to recognize the contributions of police across the nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

Tech. Sgt. Stephano Picchietti, 55th Security Forces Squadron, walks through water during an evasion challenge May 17, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Police week was established in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy to honor fallen officers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

Tech. Sgt. Stephano Picchietti, 55th Security Forces Squadron, walks through water during an evasion challenge May 17, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Police week was established in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy to honor fallen officers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

55th Security Forces Squadron Airmen take part in a ruck march challenge May 14, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Offutt’s defenders participated in local events as well as coordinating base events to recognize the contributions of police across the nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

55th Security Forces Squadron Airmen take part in a ruck march challenge May 14, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Offutt’s defenders participated in local events as well as coordinating base events to recognize the contributions of police across the nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

55th Security Forces Squadron Airmen approach the finish line during a ruck march challenge May 14, 2018, at Offutt Air Force, Nebraska. Team two ran and walked 2 miles from the the Patriot Club parking lot to Peacekeeper Drive in 38 minutes and 25 seconds to earn first place in this challenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

55th Security Forces Squadron Airmen approach the finish line during a ruck march challenge May 14, 2018, at Offutt Air Force, Nebraska. Team two ran and walked 2 miles from the the Patriot Club parking lot to Peacekeeper Drive in 38 minutes and 25 seconds to earn first place in this challenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

55th Security Forces Squadron Airmen begin to run during a ruck march challenge May 14, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Team two ran and walked 2 miles from the Patriot Club parking lot to Peacekeeper Drive in 38 minutes and 25 seconds to earn first place in this challenge.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

55th Security Forces Squadron Airmen begin to run during a ruck march challenge May 14, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Team two ran and walked 2 miles from the Patriot Club parking lot to Peacekeeper Drive in 38 minutes and 25 seconds to earn first place in this challenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

Staff Sgt. Robert Franklin, 55th Security Forces Squadron, looks over his paper shooting target during an excellence in the competition and shooting event May 14, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Offutt’s defenders participated in local events as well as coordinating base events to recognize the contributions of police across the nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)
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Staff Sgt. Robert Franklin, 55th Security Forces Squadron, looks over his paper shooting target during an excellence in the competition and shooting event May 14, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Offutt’s defenders participated in local events as well as coordinating base events to recognize the contributions of police across the nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

Staff Sgt. Tyler Senecal, 55th Security Forces Squadron training instructor, fires a M-16 rifle at a paper target during an excellence in competition and shooting event May 14, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Offutt’s defenders participated in local events as well as coordinating base events to recognize the contributions of police across the nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)
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Staff Sgt. Tyler Senecal, 55th Security Forces Squadron training instructor, fires a M-16 rifle at a paper target during an excellence in competition and shooting event May 14, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Offutt’s defenders participated in local events as well as coordinating base events to recognize the contributions of police across the nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

55th Security Forces Squadron airmen load bullets into magazines during an excellence in competition and shooting event May 14, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The event was part of National Police Week which gives special recognition to all law enforcement officers who have dedicated their lives to protecting communities through service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)
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55th Security Forces Squadron airmen load bullets into magazines during an excellence in competition and shooting event May 14, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The event was part of National Police Week which gives special recognition to all law enforcement officers who have dedicated their lives to protecting communities through service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

National Police Week gives special recognition to all law enforcement officers who have dedicated their lives to protecting communities through service.

“It's important that we observe Police Week not only to remember those that have laid down their lives to protect their fellow citizens and uphold the laws of our great nation,” said Lt. Col.  William Smith, 55th Security Forces Squadron commander at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

Offutt Air Force Base observed Police Week with several events on and off base. The events  started on May 13, 2018, with a vigil and ended May 17 on Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Members of the 55th SFS held a shooting competition at the combat arms range, a static display at Southroads Mall in Bellevue, Nebraska, a ruck march, an evasion challenge and ended with a retreat ceremony on Offutt’s parade ground.

“It's very rewarding to see our defenders and masters at arms come together as a team with our local Omaha law enforcement community and organize a multitude of individual and team events as well as ceremonies and displays - all open the public - for our Airmen to get involved in,” Smith said, “each of which showcases our unique skill sets and highlights why we're proud to wear the badge and beret.”

On October 1, 1962, President John F. Kennedy dedicated May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week that it falls on as National Police Week. Offutt’s defenders participated in local events as well as coordinating base events to recognize the contributions of police across the nation.

“As this week has its somber moments, it is exciting to see security forces and our local police officers join together to support and celebrate Police Week,” said Master Sgt. Jacqueline Marquez, 55th SFS superintendent of logistics and resources. “As I continue to participate in the various events, I see how much pride our defenders have for what they do and the events they have put together. They have done such an outstanding job and I wouldn't expect anything less from our dedicated organization.”

The combination of ceremonies and skill challenges throughout the week honored the struggles and sacrifices made by police throughout their careers and offered reminders to how law enforcement impacts the mission.

“Participating in these events brings a sense of pride and recognition to those who serve or served in law enforcement,” said Staff Sgt. Dean Mitchell, 55th SFS leading training instructor. “Some of the events throughout Police Week are challenging and a reminder that there are moments during the law enforcement duties that will test your limits - you have to keep pushing and finish the job.”

Offutt’s Police Week events are a time where military members, their families and communities celebrate police officers and security forces members everywhere.

“Outside the gates, the police are the only defense we as citizens have against criminal activity,” said Senior Master Sgt. Kevin Samson, 55th SFS first sergeant. “On Air Force bases, our Security Forces act as the police force for the base population, in addition they safeguard our most sensitive national assets.”

Offutt AFB wrapped up Police Week May 17 during an retreat ceremony on Offutt’s parade field. While speaking to a crowd of 55th Wing security forces members, base leadership and others from the surrounding area, Smith encouraged the audience to continue protecting and serving on a daily basis.

“I attributed the relative safety of this installation to your preparedness, your competence and the daily interactions you have with the community members we serve,” Smith said. “Respect is earned by our willingness to work at it daily, in every interaction we have with the public, whether it be at the gate, on a DUI traffic stop, a shoplifting at the BX, a drug case at the search pit or a domestic disturbance in housing.”