CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Champaign Police Department released a statement inviting the public to attend multiple events throughout National Police Week, May 14-20.
Since 1962, officials said National Police Week has been held in the week that includes Peace Officers Memorial Day, which takes place on May 15. This year, the Champaign Police Department will once again recognize employees for their efforts and honor their fallen officers with reverence as part of the Police Week ceremonies.
The Champaign Police Employee Awards Ceremony will be held at the Champaign Police Department on Wednesday, May 17 at 5:30 p.m. Police said the event will honor the efforts of officers and civilian staff members who performed exceptionally in their duties last year.
Officials said awards will include the announcement of Employee of the Year and Officer of the Year, and recognizing Commendations for officers who went beyond the call of duty in specific actions.
On Friday, May 19, the Champaign Police Memorial Ceremony will be held at West Side Park at 9 a.m. to honor law enforcement officers from around the world who have died in the line of duty.
Champaign Police said they will pay a special tribute to three Champaign Police Officers. These include Thomas Dodsworth (end of watch July 6, 1913), Robert Tatman (end of watch Nov. 25, 1967), and Christopher Oberheim (end of watch May 19, 2021), who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving the Champaign community.
Immediately following the Champaign Police Memorial, police said staff will also attend the public Champaign County Police Memorial at the Champaign County Courthouse in Urbana beginning at 10 a.m.
To conclude Police Week on May 20, the Champaign Police Open House at the police department will open its doors to the community for the first time since 2018 after a long pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials said the Open House from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. allows staff to welcome the community into the Champaign Police Department, providing guided tours, historical displays, and information on community safety programs.
Police said the event features a fun, family-friendly atmosphere to learn about local police and their community safety mission, including touch-a-truck with multiple police vehicles and demonstrations from specialized units like the Crisis Negotiation Unit, Crime Scene Unit, K-9 Unit, and SWAT team.
“Champaign Police are excited to welcome our community into our home for the return of the Police Department Open House,” said Chief of Police Timothy T. Tyler. “This exciting event gives a behind-the-scenes look at your police department, featuring tours, exhibits, and demonstrations for everyone to enjoy.”
Champaign Police said all Police Week events are open to the public, and attendance is encouraged.