ODESSA, TX (KWES) - National Police Week began this Sunday, and the Odessa Police Department is honoring the lives of eight local officers as well as those around the state.
This week is all about remembering and honoring the officers who have fallen in the line of duty throughout the U.S.
"We specifically honor the five officers that have been killed in the history of our department," said Corporal Steve Lesueur of the Odessa Police Department.
In addition, the OPD will also honor Ector County Sheriff Deputy Thad West and Midland County Sheriff Deputy Mike Naylor, as well as Lubbock officer Rodney Kendricks who is buried in Odessa. But there are many more officers across Texas and the United States that have fallen that are being remembered this week.
"From 2017 to 2018, we saw approximately a 75% increase in gunfire related deaths among law enforcement officers that were killed in the line of duty," said Lesueur.
Currently the OPD Honor Guard is in Washington, D.C. as part of the national remembrance and will return Thursday.
The Odessa Police will also be hosting a memorial service for the fallen officers on Friday, May 18 at Sunset Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home in Odessa. The service will start at 10:00 a.m. and will be open to the public.
To those who cannot attend the service but still want to support their local police force, Lesueur encourages them to exchange their porch light bulbs with blue ones to help remind people about the dangers that police officers face in the line of duty.
National Police Week runs through Saturday, May 19.