PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — City Hall in Peoria hosted a memorial for former and retired officers in the Peoria Police Department who died in the past year. Loved ones of the fallen were joined by current officers to plant roses in front of the podium.
Members of City Hall were also present at the ceremony. Among the speakers included Eric Echevarria, Chief of Police for the Peoria Police Department. He said he is thankful for support from the city.
“I think it’s important to also show the officers, when the community comes out, the support that we have, the real support that we have from our community, is shown right here as well,” Echevarria said.
The Peoria Police Department has not had an officer die in the line of duty since 2004. Echevarria said that he hopes to never be put in a position like that.
“We hope that this is where it stops and we never have to talk to another family about them losing a loved one, I hope I never while I’m here have to give a folded flag to a family member, but we’ll continue to protect ourselves, continue to train, continue to communicate with our community, and continue to build relationships”, Echevarria said.
He also commented on the recent surge in negative attitudes toward police officers. He says he hopes events like these can show officers that there is still large community support.