Ulster County Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum, accompanied by deputies and corrections officers and the family of a department member who died in the line of duty last year were among thousands of law enforcement professionals who descended on Washington D.C. for Police Week. VanBlarcum was present in the Oval Office when President Donald J. Trump signed the official Police Week proclamation.
Peace Officers Memorial Day, enacted by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, honors police officers killed in the line of duty. Each year, police from around the country travel to the nation’s capital for a series of events honoring fallen officers. Among those honored this year was Sheriff’s Sgt. Kerry J. Winters Sr. Winters. Winters, 51, died on Sept. 22 when he suffered an unspecified medical emergency during a training exercise with the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office dive team. The 30-year veteran of the department’s corrections division left behind a wife and two sons.
VanBlarcum said Winters’ family members accompanied 15 officers from the department to Washington for the memorial service. VanBlarcum said that Trump acknowledged Winters and his family at a ceremony adding the names of officers killed in service to the law enforcement memorial wall.