The Upper Dublin Police Department held a National Police Week commemoration on Monday night, packing the municipal complex with vehicles and equipment, and educating residents about the role of law enforcement in the community.
National Police Week originally began in 1962, when President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week of the 15th as National Police Week.
"It's basically a way for us to honor those officers who have given the ultimate sacrifice -- dying in the line of duty," said Sergeant Drew Lavenberg, of the Upper Dublin Police Department. "Our department had an officer die in the line of duty -- Sgt James Miller died in 2004 from a car accident -- so this is our way to honor him, as well as the rest of the officers who have died in the line of duty."
In addition to honoring their fallen brothers and sisters, Lavenberg said the focus of National Police Week is to educate the community about the services that law enforcement provides, as well as the roles of EMS and the fire service.
Guests at the event were given a first-hand look at a variety of specialized law enforcement equipment and vehicles, as well as a chance to meet their local officers and tour the police station.
"We have about 30 cops here for the event, and that gives residents an opportunity to speak to officers one-on-one, and ask any questions they may have," said Lavenberg.
Joining the UDPD were representatives from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department Bomb Squad Unit, a canine team from Montgomery Township, a child ID unit from Lower Gwynedd, members of the Fort Washington Fire Company and members of the emergency medical services.
The year's event also marks the end of Lavenberg's role as National Police Week coordinator, as his recent promotion to sergeant increases his responsibilities with the department. Beginning next year, Officer Ryan Copelin will take the reins.
"I'm definitely looking forward to it," said Copelin.