Seven Arlington County police officers have died in the line of duty over the last 83 years, and county law enforcement and civic leaders took a few moments to remember their sacrifice Friday (May 11).
The county held its annual observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day at the Arlington County Justice Center Plaza (1425 N. Courthouse Road), inviting dozens of law enforcement officers and Arlington leaders to pay tribute to fallen officers across the country.
Participants in the ceremony offered wreaths and roses at the county’s monument to its officers who have died on the job, with a special observance for Corporal Harvey Snook, who died of cancer he contracted while working in recovery efforts at the Pentagon in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The son of Officer George Pomraning, who was shot to death while bringing a prisoner to jail on Sept. 2, 1973, also attended the ceremony.
County Police Chief M. Jay Farr urged attendees to consider what more they can do to prevent the killing of police, putting a particular focus on one of the leading causes of line of duty deaths: gun violence.
“Many officers who are shot are dealing with people who are not of sound mind,” Farr said. “We all need to think about what we can do to address this growing national mental health crisis.”
Yet Craig Floyd, CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, suggested that the country as a whole was making some progress in that area. He pointed out that the 129 officers to died on the job in 2017 represented the second-smallest figure since 1959.
“We’ve done a lot, but we have a long way to go,” Floyd said.
The county ceremony coincides with the start of National Police Week, a series of events around D.C. from May 13-19 to honor fallen officers. A full schedule of events is available online.