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Police Week a time to thank those who serve and some who lost lives doing it

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Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney, who was fatally shot by a suspected drug dealer six years ago. Inset, Jeffrey Bull of former Lebanon (Maine) Police Department, died in 1987 during a hgih-speed chase on Route 202 in Lebanon. (Courtesy photos)

Sunday marked the beginning of National Police Week, which runs through Saturday.

What better time to take a few seconds to reach out to an officer, patrolman, sheriff's deputy, or state trooper in your town or city to say, "Thank you for what you do ... every day of the week."

Today, May 15, is Peace Officer Memorial Day, when we remember those fallen officers who paid the ultimate price in the execution of their duties.

We recognize at least three local officers today.

One is Dover Police Officer George E. Pray, who was killed in 1888 while trying to take in a Madbury man who had escaped an insane asylum in Concord. When Pray entered the man's house, he ran upstairs, grabbed a gun and shot Pray in the chest killing him.

On May 9. 1987, it would be a Lebanon, Maine, police officer who would make the ultimate sacrifice to protect the citizens he served.

Patrolman Jeffrey Bull, 35, in his second year on the force, was killed when he attempted to assist Sanford Police in setting up a rolling road block during a high speed pursuit. Officer Bull's vehicle, the lead car, was struck by a van being pursued on Route 202 in Lebanon heading west. The impact caused the van to flip over and land on Officer Bull's vehicle which killed him. The suspects were all minors and were sent to a juvenile facility until their 21st birthdays. They still live in the area, sources have said. Officer Bull was a widower and is survived by his two daughters.

To read a former Lebanon Voice story commemorating his life and untimely death during an observance held in Lebanon on the 25th anniversary of the tragic accident click here.

Most recently, Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney, about a week prior to his retirement, was fatally shot in April 2012 during a drug raid in Greenland. Jeremiah Murphy, 34, formerly a detective with the Rochester Police Department, was injured in the shooting.

Suspected drug dealer 29-year-old Cullen Mutrie is thought to have shot a female associated and Maloney before turning the gun on himself during the standoff at a Post Road residence.

According to statistics collected by the FBI, 93 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2017 - a 21 percent decrease from 2016 when 118 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents.

On Sunday the names of all 93 fallen officers nationwide were formally dedicated on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington during an annual Candlelight Vigil.

On Thursday Maine will hold its own Fallen Officers Ceremony in Augusta.

Today's policeman and women put their lives on the line every time they suit up and cruise in a patrol car or walk a beat.

Ironically, as their jobs get tougher and more dangerous, they face heightened scrutiny regarding their own conduct.

We're not so naïve as to think there's no such thing as a bad cop, but we're supposed to have these guys' back.

After dealing with Rochester, Milton and Maine State Police for more than six years now, I can tell you they are as professional as you could want or expect.

This is the week to tell them what a great service they provide. I mean, they serve you 24/7/365. It's the least we can do.

Earlier today, Governor Chris Sununu announced that in accordance with the President's proclamation of today at Peace Officers Memorial Day all U.S. and state flags in the State of New Hampshire are to be flown at half-staff until sunset.

For more information about other National Police Week events, please visit www.policeweek.org.

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