A ceremony was held to commemorate Peace Officers Memorial Day in front of the Law Enforcement Center in Newton on Wednesday.
Chaplain Steve Brecheisen opened the ceremony, which was attended by dozens from multiple law enforcement agencies along with other first responder agencies and the public, with a prayer.
Chaplain Marvin Rice then read the memorials of Harvey County's law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty — Newton Police Officer and Sedgwick County Sheriff's Deputy Carlos King, who died on Sept. 23, 1871; Newton Night Police Chief Albert DuFriend, who died on Nov. 22, 1928; Newton Assistant Police Chief Harry Bolin, who died on June 17, 1932; and Dept. Kurt Ford of the Harvey County Sheriff's Office, who died on April 9, 2005.
Harvey County Sheriff Chad Gay and Newton Police Chief Eric Murphy laid a wreath at the base of the marker honoring the county's law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.
Chaplain Ray Nicodemus shared Romans 13:4, which states, "For the one in authority is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God's servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."
"When I see law enforcement, I see big hearts," Nicodemus said. "I see kindness; I see goodness — and yet, the wrath of God is there when needed."
Three law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in Kansas in 2018: Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office Dept. Theresa King, Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office Dept. Patrick Rohrer and Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office Dept. Robert Kunze III.
"A lot of us knew Kurt Ford," Nicodemus said. "Some of you knew Robert Kunze."
Kunze, a deputy with the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office, was shot and killed on Sept. 16, 2018.
"We don't see very often someone dying for someone else, but law enforcement, every day in their job commits to laying down their life for a stranger, which is what Robert Kunze did. He continued fighting. He did what he was trained to do; he did his job," Nicodemus said.
Chaplain Jason Reynolds ended the ceremony with a benediction, praying for safety, wisdom and integrity for all law enforcement officers.