Remembering those who protect and serve

By:  Ashley Harding

Peace Officers Memorial Day ceremony honors those killed in the line of duty.

Six Lincoln police officers have been killed in the line of duty.  A special ceremony was held Tuesday to honor their memory. 

In front of police headquarters in downtown Lincoln, dozens of uniformed officers gather together to honor those killed in the line of duty.

In total, six names were called out. Six names belonging to six Lincoln officers, dating back from 1917, who have died to protect us.

“For each officer that has died in the line of duty, there's been a family behind them. And they do an awful lot of suffering as a result of that,” said Police Chief Jim Peschong.

Retired Lincoln Police Captain Allen Soukup knows this better than anyone.  In 1966, his father, Detective Frank Soukup, a ten year veteran, was shot and killed while trying to bust up a check forgery ring. Allen Soukup was 26 at the time, he remembers getting a call that changed everything. 

“I arrived at Lincoln General and my family members were there. By that time my father had already passed away,” said Allen Soukup.

You may have noticed the black band across each officers' badge.  It serves as their own special way of remembering these fallen heroes. It can also be a reminder for us not to take them for granted.

“They will not hesitate to pay that terrible price if the need arises. So when you see them, tell them thank you.”

The Lincoln officers honored today were: 
Captain Charles E. Hall – March 31, 1917
Special Duty Patrolman Marion F. Marshall – September 9, 1932
Officer Richard E. Leyden – September 26, 1949
Detective Frank H. Soukup – December 16, 1966
Detective Paul B. Whitehead – August 10, 1967
Motorcycle Officer George W. Welter – February 9, 1968

Also at the ceremony, mayor Beutler proclaimed this week as national police week in honor of all officers.