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UW-L hosts La Crosse County memorial ceremony for law enforcement

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A familiar annual ritual, in a new location.

Two buglers played Taps and an honor guard fired guns in a salute at Veterans Memorial Field, on the UW-L campus Wednesday morning. 

The county’s annual Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony, observed every May, was held at the university for the first time.  Law enforcement leaders and officers from throughout La Crosse County gathered to remember other officers who have died in the line of duty, including some who died from COVID-19.

UWL police chief Allen Hill says it was a privilege to have the ceremony on campus. “It goes around the county from different departments, and for this year they reached out and asked if we would be interested in hosting,” says Hill, calling it a “great opportunity for the university.”

UWL Chancellor Joe Gow speaks during law enforcement memorial ceremony at Roger Harring Stadium on Wednesday

La Crosse County Sheriff Jeff Wolf says the national day to remember law enforcement dates back to 1963, and a declaration by President John F. Kennedy for “Law Enforcement Police Week” during May. Wolf said Wednesday was a day “to celebrate not only police week, but National Emergency Dispatcher Week, which was previously National Correctional Officer Week.”

Hill says the ceremony recognized hundreds of law officers in the U.S. who died in 2021, with about 300 of those deaths resulting from COVID-19.   The La Crosse Police also had a separate ceremony Wednesday at the Black River Beach center, recognizing city police officers who have saved lives or performed other outstanding duties in the past year.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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