MONTROSE, Colo. (KJCT) -- Law enforcement from all over the Western Slope gathered Wednesday for a Peace Officer Memorial Ceremony in Montrose to honor those killed in the line of duty.
A 21-gun salute, followed by the playing of Taps filled the air in Montrose on Wednesday.
"This is an important way for our community to come together," said Laurie Mudgett, a Montrose resident who attended the ceremony.
There have been 50 officers killed in the line of duty across the nation this year, a number that is much higher than this same time last year.
"We’ve lost two police officers here since the 1980's, so it seems it’s appropriate we do this," said Tom Chimn, chief of the Montrose Police Department. "They’re the encouragement for everyone else."
A commander read a list of nearly a dozen law enforcement officers here on the Western Slope, who gave it all, including Mesa County Sheriff Deputy Derek Geer.
Toward the end, the focus of the ceremony shifted to the men and women who serve us today, and how they can carry on in a job that is often filled with turmoil.
"I wanted them to know that there are people in the community who think what they are doing is important, and that their lives really do matter," said Mudgett.
It was a day to honor police while officers pledged to continue to bravely serve.
"They do it for us – to protect us and our freedoms," said Mudgett.
"We thank the community, we are here for them, that’s the bottom line," said Chimn.
Speakers at the ceremony touched on how the current federal administration is looking to help protect law enforcement, which they see as a positive shift in what have been a few tough years.
This event was in honor of National Police Week and is something the city of Montrose does every year.
The Grand Junction Police Department was honored that night at the city council meeting.