A small crowd with big hearts attended a special ceremony Monday held by the Yakima Police Department at Sarg Hubbard Park. Monday was Police Officer Memorial Day.

THE DAY WAS CREATED IN 1962 TO HONOR OFFICERS WHO DIE ON DUTY

It was a day established by a joint resolution of congress in 1962 to pay special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. Currently city officials say the Yakima Police Department is budgeted for 143 sworn police officers. However the actual number of sworn police officers on the street has been near or below 130 since Chief Matthew Murray was appointed in 2019. Many times the Officers are working overtime to fill in the work done by Officers who are not on the force.

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YAKIMA POLICE REMEMBERED A SGT. AND A K-9 OFFICER MONDAY

Officers who died in the line of duty were remembered Monday including Yakima Police Sergeant Joe Deccio.  Deccio died Tuesday, August 3, 2021 after a medical episode while at the Yakima Police Department. Also honored on Monday after passing away in 2022 from an "undiagnosable gastrointestinal disorder." The Yakima Police Honor Guard Presented Trex Handler, Officer Mark McKinney with with an "Honor box" or "Memory Box" during the ceremony.

MORE AND MORE OFFICERS ARE BEING INJURED OR KILLED WHILE ON DUTY

Line of duty deaths increased 55% in 2021 from 2020 among law enforcement officers nationwide, according to the 2021 Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.  617 officers died last year, 5 of the deaths happened in Washington State.

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