Law enforcement from various departments and community members gathered together Wednesday, May 15 at Hudson High School to honor law enforcement as part of the annual St. Croix County Law Enforcement Memorial.
The ceremony paid tribute to the 144 officers killed in the line of duty in 2018.
Also recognized were the three St. Croix County officers killed in the area's history - Harold O. Harris of the St. Croix County Sheriff's Office in 1904, Clarence Erickson of the Hudson Police Department in 1953, and Lee Murphy of St. Croix County Highway Patrol in 1955 from injuries received in 1953. Murphy's death was only recently recognized as being killed in the line of duty.
Law enforcement members from around the county spent 25 minutes listing off all the names of those who had fallen.
Hudson Police Chief Geoff Willems said it is not only the officers that should be remembered, but their families, friends and neighbors as well whose lives were shattered.
"Each of those people had people that cared for them," Willems said.
Sarah Glaze, widow of Rusk County Deputy Dan Glaze, spoke about her mission to create good out of tragedy.
Glaze said law enforcement is not a job, but a calling and a lifestyle, for both the officer and the family. Even knowing his outcome, Glaze said she believes her husband would still answer that calling.
"He was all in," she said. "He was born to do the job, and quite frankly he was darn good at it."
Glaze is working to bridge the gap between law enforcement and mental health.
"We need to teach those who protect us how to take care of themselves," Glaze said.
She asked that people support law enforcement members and families not only in times of trouble or in a memorial week, but every day.
"As members of law enforcement we need you to support each other by allowing each other to be human," she said.
North Hudson Police Chief Mark Richert furhter spoke to the toll the profession takes. He cited statistics from Blue HELP that show more officers died by suicide in 2018 than in the line of duty.
He asked any officers who are struggling to reach out to someone.
"You are not expected to go it alone," he said. "We all need support."