Edmond Police Chief JD Younger holds his first prayer breakfast
EDMOND — The small, circular table held a single place setting and one red rose. The empty chair was especially noticeable at the fallen officer's table.
A slice of lemon on a glass serving dish represented the bitter fate of a fallen officer. The wineglass was turned upside because the lost officers could not offer a toast.
The crisp white tablecloth represented the purity of their intentions and their willingness to respond to the call to duty so communities can remain safe.
"This table is our way of symbolizing the fact that members of our profession are unable to be with us today," said Chuck Foley, retired Mustang police chief and 35-year veteran Oklahoma City police officer.
"We honor and remember them for they are not with us."
Foley spoke during the Edmond Police Chief's Prayer Breakfast, held Tuesday as part of National Police Week. The breakfast was hosted by the Community Oriented Policing Leadership Council, the Citizen's Police Academy alumni and First Christian Church.
It was the first year for newly hired Police Chief JD Younger to host the breakfast. Younger started May 1 as head of the Edmond Police Department, following the retirement of Bob Ricks, who also attended the breakfast.
The loss of law enforcement officers was fresh on the minds of Edmond officers, with the recent deaths of officers in Logan County and Tecumseh. They wore black ribbons across their badges.
Logan County Sheriff's Deputy David Wade, 40, was fatally shot on April 18 as he tried to serve an eviction notice.
Tecumseh Police officer Justin Terney, 22, was shot March 26 during an exchange of gunfire that followed a traffic stop. He died the next morning.
An emotional Foley spoke about his profession and the effects that time has on the men and women who wear the badge.
"When we are born they don't line up time in a bottle on a shelf and say to you or your parents that these are the days you have," Foley said.
"You don't know. It could be one. It could be 50 or 525,600. You never know.
"My point to everyone is to support law enforcement. My point is make sure they have the tools and the training to go home every day. You use the shields that God provides."
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote the original stories about the... Read more ›