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Police Memorial Week begins with a salute to officers and their family members

Local law enforcement officers and their families are observing Police Memorial Week. Tuesday's observance started at Fountain Square, and keynote speaker Christopher Smitherman pointed out there was a mass shooting there in 2018. A gunman shot five people, killing three of them before police shot and killed him.

"If it were not for the heroic response of those officers and firefighters, more citizens would have lost their lives that day," Smitherman says. "We remain thankful for the county coordination of law enforcement that had each officer's back to make sure more citizens did not lose their lives, and those who were hurt were taken to safety."

The former vice mayor thanked officers for their courage, saying they run toward the gunfire as everyone else runs away.

Cincinnati's Interim Police Chief, Teresa Theetge, also thanked family members of officers. "As hard as it is to watch a loved one go to work each day with the fear of the unknown, your continued support and love for your husbands, wives, sisters, brothers and friends mean the world to them."

Mayor Aftab Pureval says Cincinnatians appreciate what officers do. "They don't get to take days off. They don't get to call in on snow days because our city still needs them. Rain or shine, sleet or snow, pandemic or not, the residents of Hamilton County and the city of Cincinnati depend on them and every single day they rise to the occasion."

Pureval says policing is a sacred, honorable calling.