Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Kempker told the crowd they were missing several representatives because those officers were responding to a threat called in to a Zeeland school. That situation was quickly brought under control.
In the meantime, the sheriff thanked his employees and all other departments in the county for their commitment to the safety of their fellow residents.
Capt. Mark Bennett, who had just returned from participating in the 300-mile Unity (bicycle) Ride into Washington, D.C., noted that 163 police officers in the United States lost their lives in the line of duty last year. As of Tuesday, 42 officers across the nation had lost their lives this year, Bennett said.
In Michigan, a total of 595 officers have died in the line of duty.
Those from Ottawa County are:
— Zeeland police Officer William Glerum, on July 18, 1933.
— Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Arlyn “Pappy” Gort, 52, who died in 1989 when he was struck by a car while directing traffic around the scene of a crash.
— Grand Haven Department of Public Safety Officer Scott Flahive, 28, who died Dec. 13, 1994, when he was shot by a jail escapee during a traffic stop on Beacon Boulevard.
— Walker police Officer Trevor Slot died Oct. 13, 2011, while placing stop strips for a getaway car in a bank robbery. He was struck by the car. A short time later, the suspects were killed in a shootout with police.
See related photo gallery: “Peace Officers Memorial Service.”