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updated: 5/15/2018 2:08 PM

Honoring their sacrifice: Aurora police holding memorial service

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By Marissa Plescia
mplescia@dailyherald.com

Police officers make sacrifices every day.

For many, those sacrifices go largely unnoticed. But for some, they can be painful and even fatal.

The willingness to put themselves on the line will be the theme Saturday morning when the Aurora Police Department holds its 22nd annual Police Week memorial service honoring, among others, the only two Aurora officers killed in the line of duty.

"Police officers make sacrifices on a daily basis. A lot of those sacrifices and some of the things that they do within the community and for the community, a lot of people don't know about," police spokesman Dan Ferrelli said. "I think it's important for the community to kind of take a step back once a year to be thankful to police officers for what they do on a daily basis, 24/7."

The two officers who died in the line of duty -- Alfred Olin in 1918 and Thompson Richardson in 1928 -- both were shot while attempting to bring young suspects in for questioning about auto thefts.

"The suspects were all relatively young, like in their late teens or early 20s," Ferrelli said. "It's amazing that the more things change, the more they stay the same, because we address many of those same problems today."

Also honored at the service will be six retired officers who died in the past year, including officers John Saltijeral and Frank Mexin, sergeants Duane Such and David Gumz and lieutenants Norman Perkins and Donald McDonald.

Eleven employees who retired this year, meanwhile, will have their names added to the service walls on the Memorial Plaza, which honors those who served at least 20 years with the department.

The observance also will feature the department's Honor Guard and Pipes and Drums.

The service will last about an hour and be followed by a variety of activities in which visitors can check out police vehicles and kids can get their photos taken in a police uniform, have their faces painted and even run through an obstacle course.

The event starts at 10 a.m. and ends at noon at the department headquarters, 1200 E. Indian Trail. In case of bad weather, it will be held inside.

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