Hundreds gather to remember fallen officers in Roanoke Valley

Published: May. 18, 2017 at 11:32 PM EDT
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As National Police Week winds to a close, Roanoke Valley law enforcement took precious time out of their day to gather for those that now exist only in precious memories.

"Many police officers have given the ultimate sacrifice to serve others and to give to their communities," said Chief Tim Jones of Roanoke City Police.

A crowd of nearly 200 packed St. John Lutheran Church,

Many with badges shrouded in black.

"Law enforcement officers should not be forgotten in what they do to keep our community safe not only here in the Roanoke Valley but beyond," said Chief Tim Jones of Roanoke City Police.

Church leaders hosted this annual event three times, and they say there's no better way for them to help.

"Our church and all of the church throughout all of history has always supported what officers have done for us, and people who have protected us, soldiers, officers, warriors, and so we want to show our support and love for that," said Myles Hixson, St. John Lutheran Church Associate Pastor.

The bell rang one time for each name read aloud.

This year the program was expanded to remember those from outside the valley.

Like Montgomery County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Sutphin, whose killer's execution date was recently set.

And fallen Carroll County Deputy Curtis Bartlett.

"As you look outside the Roanoke Valley we realized that Craig County, Floyd County, Franklin county, Christiansburg, all have lost members of their community," added Chief Tim Jones, Roanoke City Police.

National Police Week ends Saturday.