Fallen officers remembered in Naperville on Peace Officers Memorial Day 

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On Wednesday morning, the Naperville Police Department (NPD) held its annual Peace Officers Memorial Observance. It’s a ceremony held on May 15, Peace Officers Memorial Day, to honor the law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty.

Speakers included Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres, Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli, and NPD Chaplain Pastor Dave King. The ceremony also featured the NPD Honor Guard and the playing of taps.

Naperville honors U.S. fallen officers on Peace Officers Memorial Day

“It’s important to remember the brothers and sisters in blue who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their communities. But it’s also important for our community to be reminded of the dangers our police officers face each and every day,” said Arres.

There were 136 police officers killed on duty in 2023 in the U.S. Of those, two were from Illinois: Aréanah M. Preston and Andrés Vásquez Lasso, both from Chicago. They were noted by Chief Arres at Wednesday’s ceremony.

The only Naperville officer to be killed on duty in the history of the city was former Police Chief Robert Worthel, who died on Sept. 24, 1927. He was responding to an armed robbery when his motorcycle struck a vehicle that had turned in front of him at an intersection. 

“We know as a community that understanding what our police officers go through is only half the battle. But being there for them when they need it, that’s what makes Naperville different,” said Wehrli.

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