JAMESTOWN – A ceremony in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day took place in Jamestown on Friday.
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundqust, Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel and the Jamestown Police Department Chaplain, Ben Gerring, spoke to a crowd of first responders and community members alike during the remembrance at city hall.
The day, held annually on Saturday, May 15, pays tribute to the local, state and federal peace officers who have died, or who have been disabled, in the line of duty.
Jamestown Police Chief Tim Jackson, in an interview with WNY News Now following the service, expressed his admiration for the community’s support.
“The police are here to serve the community, we don’t ask for any recognition, but today’s ceremony is strictly for the officers who lost their lives serving the community they protect,” said Jackson. “It is a very difficult job, very demanding, we are called on to do many different tasks.”
Those tasks, Jackson says, have evolved over the years. Yet, one thing has remained the same.
“De-escalation, the ability to deescalate is so valuable,” furthered Jackson. “We try to train for that, we do scenario-based training where that is what they (the officers) have to use, their voice, to try and calm somebody down.”
Jackson says thankfully, only one officer was killed in the line of duty in Jamestown.
Patrolman George “Red” Kendall was shot and killed by an intoxicated man who had just murdered his father and stepmother amid an argument in June 1915.
The patrolman was fatally shot twice by the man, armed with a rifle, as the officer responded to the domestic dispute call.