In 1998, members of local law enforcement formed a committee to establish a permanent memorial for law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. In 2000, the Missoula Law Enforcement Memorial was dedicated as a lasting tribute to the Missoula officers killed in the line of duty since 1904.

Every year during the National Law Enforcement Week, a local celebration is held at the Memorial Rose Garden to honor those who have fallen in the line of duty and to pay tribute to currently serving law enforcement officers throughout Missoula County. Unfortunately, there won’t be a ceremony this year. Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh explains.

“Unfortunately, with COVID-19 and social distancing, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our ceremony this year in order to maintain our social distance and not put anybody at risk by gathering together at our ceremony,” Welsh said.

According to Welsh, this is the first time the ceremony has ever been cancelled.

“It is something we all look forward to,” Welsh said. “It is something our law enforcement families look forward to. We still wish to pay homage and thank those families for their sacrifice. We honor our fallen officers with their names inscribed on the monument. They will still be in our hearts and we will still remember them as we continue through the end of this week, but unfortunately, we will not be able to gather together to do that.”

There are 11 officers who have given their lives in the line of duty in Missoula County. If you would like to know more about these fallen heroes, visit right here.

Photo Courtesy of MPD