Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith said local authorities observed the 56th National Peace Officer Memorial Day on May 15.

Pres. John F.  Kennedy on Oct. 1, 1962, signed a bill into law declaring May 15 as the day for our country to remember the nation’s now 23,720 local, state and federal law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty, according to the sheriff.

The week also is deemed National Police Week.

The past decade has proven to be especially challenging for law enforcement nationwide, Smith said. “There has been an enormous amount of hatred thrown against our profession, never have I seen a time where our actions have been more despised than now, and we are suffering drastically nationwide because of it,” he said. 

Departments large and small across the country are struggling to maintain operations because “no one wants to do this job anymore, it is sad,” Smith said. In most places, he said that the pay is so low and the negative scrutiny received is so great, that few are following through with the application process. Virginia sheriff’s deputies are among the lowest paid law enforcement officers in the country, Smith…

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