PIQUA — Police officers are being honored in Piqua this week after Mayor Kazy Hinds proclaimed it to be Police Week in the city.
“There are approximately 900,000 law enforcement officers serving in communities across the United States, including the dedicated members of the Piqua Police Department,” Hinds said during the Piqua City Commission meeting. “There have been 15,725 assaults against law enforcement officers in 2016, resulting in approximately 13,824 injuries … since the first recorded death in 1791, more than 20,000 law enforcement officers in the United States have made the ultimate sacrifice and died in the line of duty, including three members of the Piqua Police Department — Lt. Noah Studebaker, Patrolman Jan Mulder II, and Detective Robert Taylor.”
Photos of remembrance for the three Piqua police officers who died in the line duty were placed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., this week.
Lt. Noah Studebaker died from a gunshot wound sustained eight years prior to his death on Oct. 17, 1957. He died while he and his partner investigated a robbery in progress. He was with the Piqua Police Department for 20 years and is survived by his wife and daughter.
Officer Jan Mulder II was shot and killed was searching for a burglary suspect in a hotel lobby on Aug. 11, 1970. He was also reportedly able to return fire and kill the suspect. He was with the department for four years and is survived by his wife and four children.
Detective Robert Taylor reportedly suffered a fatal heart attack while conducting department firearms training on Nov. 3, 1982. Prior to his passing, he was with the Piqua Police Department for 28 years. His wife and three children survive him.
There are 252 new names of fallen police officers being added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial this spring, including 123 officers killed in 2015 and 129 officers killed in previous years.
“The city of Piqua formally designates May 15-21, 2016, as Police Week in the city of Piqua, Ohio, and publicly salutes the service of law enforcement officers in our community and in communities across the nation,” Hinds said.
Hinds presented the proclamation to the Piqua Patrol Officer of the Year, Officer Sean Stein.
“On behalf of the entire department, we give our thanks as well,” Stein said.
“Thank you for keeping us safe,” Hinds said.
On Wednesday, Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison said that it is the department’s relationship with the community that makes the department stand out.
“It’s not just us,” Jamison said. “It’s our community engagement. We have a very engaged community.”
Jamison said that the department works hard to keep the community engaged and connected with the department. “Sometimes that gets taken for granted and we don’t,” he said.
Jamison went on to add that the department finds ways to innovate at combating crime even if the environment is not conducive to being innovated. The department has a history of doing more with less, and Jamison said they are continuing that trend.
“We still apply some of those lessons we learned,” Jamison said.
When it comes to appropriate ways that residents can express their gratitude to police officers, it is the little things that count.
“I hope people understand, if they offer us discounts or free meals, unfortunately our ethics just require us to refuse those things,” Jamison said. Even if they are offered with the best of intentions, they cannot accept some of those things. However, just hearing that the department is appreciated and the community is “in this together” with them can help ease what can be a discouraging job at times.
“Every time somebody says, ‘thanks for what you do,’ it really does go a long way,” Jamison said.
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall