INDIANAPOLIS – In honor of National Police Week, U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers recognizes the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as the family members, friends, and fellow officers they left behind.
In 1962, President Kennedy issued the first proclamation for Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week to remember and honor law enforcement officers for their service and sacrifices. Peace Officers Memorial Day, May 15, honors law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty. According to National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund, in 2021, 472 U.S. law enforcement officers died in the line of duty, including 319 who succumbed to COVID-19.
In 2021, the following six officers died in the line of duty in the Southern District of Indiana, and their names were read and added to the wall at the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial on Friday, May 13, 2022, during a Candlelight Vigil in Washington, D.C.
- Gregory J. Ferency, FBI Task Force Officer and Terre Haute Police Detective
- James A. Driver, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
- Anthony W. Hinshaw, Losantville Town Marshal
- James R. Hirtzel, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office
- Robert W. Nicholson, Clark County Sheriff’s Office
- John D. Starks, Clark County Sheriff’s Office
“We honor those law enforcement officers who gave their lives in service of their communities and our thoughts are with their families,” said U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers. “We must never lose sight of the danger and difficulties that law enforcement officers face on our behalf. Without them, we cannot protect the public and maintain the rule of law. We are forever grateful for their service and sacrifice.”
Additionally, according to 2021 statistics reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) through the Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program, 73 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2021 were killed as a result of felonious acts, whereas 56 died in accidents. Deaths resulting from felonious acts increased in 2021, rising more than 58 percent from the previous year. In 2021, unprovoked attacks were the cause of 24 deaths, significantly outpacing all other line of duty deaths resulting from felony acts and reaching the highest annual total in over 30 years of reporting. Additional LEOKA statistics can be found on FBI’s Crime Data Explorer website for the LEOKA program.