Ozark Police Department and Dale County Law Enforcement Agencies Gather to Celebrate Lives Dedicated to Duty

MGN Online
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OZARK -- In observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day during National Police Week, Ozark Police Department held a ceremony at the Ozark Municipal Building.

Fortunately, there has not been an officer killed in the line of duty since 1987.

But, December 19, 1987 is a day many in Ozark will never forget. Officer John Seifert and Officer Ray Alcuri answered to a domestic violence call and were killed in the line of duty when the suspect shot them.

It's not just those involved who are affected during incidents like that.

"When you have two officers murdered, it not only affects the police department, it affects all law enforcement agencies and it affects the entire community," Alan Benefield, Executive Secretary of the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission and Former Ozark City Police Chief said.

But out of heartbreak comes hope and that is why the departments join together for at least one day a year.

"For the old officers that have been around, bringing in the new officers and for the deaths of those that we've called friends throughout the years," Ozark Police Department Capt. Bobby Blankenship said.

More than 20,000 law enforcement officers have paid the ultimate sacrifice since 1971.

Last year, 111 officers were reportedly killed in action. Fortunately, that is an eight percent decrease since 2012.