This week marks Police Memorial Week across the nation.

The week-long remembrance of police officers who’ve died in the line of duty stems from a proclamation signed by President John F. Kennedy in 1962.

In Louisville, police officers and members of the sheriff’s department gathered downtown Tuesday to pay their respects.

Local police union president Sgt. Dave Mutchler said no local law enforcement officers died in the line of duty this year, but “several” have across the state.

“We want them to know they will always be part of our fraternal police family,” he said.

To be a police officer is a calling, he said. And to answer the call is to take a job rife with danger and the threat of death ever present.

“We have to have folks that will do that,” he said.

Listen to the audio in the player above. 

Jacob Ryan is a reporter for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.