Many area law enforcement departments were well represented at the Police Memorial Service May 16. From left is Brian Alt, Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Conservation Police; Rockford Police Department Officers Michael Battaglia, Dominik McNiece, and Heidi Webster; and Jerry Guetschow with the Loves Park Police Department.

National Police Week event held in Roscoe
By Margaret Downing
President John F. Kennedy designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day in 1962.
On that calendar week now, May 15 is known as National Police Week to pay tribute and honor those law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty.
The Roscoe United Methodist Church held a “Northern Illinois Police Memorial Service” May 16, which was attended by officers from both Winnebago and Boone Counties, along with family members, church members and the public.
The invocation was given by Chaplain Norma Borrero with Life Church Rockford Campus; presentation was given by a multi-jurisdictional honor guard with Rockford Police Department bagpiper Aaron Kerr.
The Pledge of Allegiance was given, a gospel melody and another piece was sung by the Inspiration Quartet, and a welcome given by Pastor Paul Meyers of Roscoe United Methodist.
Musical selections by Officer Lisa Hodges (Rockford District Police Department), and also by Noah Veruchi, son of Rockford Police Department Detective Robert Veruchi were also included. A “Calling of the Names” of officers killed in the line of duty was given by Carla Redd, Assistant Deputy Chief of the Rockford PD. Rachel Leigh, fiancé of Officer Alexander Welsh with the Rockford PD gave a musical selection.
Bible readings were given by Katy Statler, Rockford PD recruiter, Cori Hilliard, Rockford PD, and the Police Officer’s Prayer was read by Chaplain Cal Culpepper of Court Street United Methodist Church.
Shawn Toepfer, Rockford Police Department, and Thomas Jones, Belvidere Police Department, stood at attention at the main doors to the church as attendees arrived for the service.
Closing words and a benediction were given by Chaplain Kenneth Henley, New Life Free Will Baptist Church. The Northern Illinois Multi-Jurisdictional Honor Guard performed Recession of the Colors.
Refreshments and snacks were provided after the memorial service.
Rockford Police Department fatalities over the years were:
*Lorenzo J. Gillogy, 1917
*Frank Chichela, 1927
*Arthur H. Bassett, 1927
*Charles J. Williams, 1972
*Randall A. Blank, 1980
*Kevin D. Rice, 2001
*Jamie Cox, 2017
Rockton Police Department:
*Arthur L. Weston, 1977
Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department:
*John Taylor, 1856
*Samuel Rotello, 1936
*John Germano, 1938
*Howard Smith, 1946
*William Goldy, 1965
*Michael E. Melbourne, 1974
Illinois State Police
*Brooke Jones Story, 2019

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