NEOSHO, Mo. — One community is honoring law enforcement.

This week marks National Police Week. Tuesday night, the Newton County Sheriff’s Office Chaplains remembered Missouri’s fallen law enforcement.

“We really want to lift up our officers. So a night like tonight we dont just have the officers, but we have their family here as well,” said Mark Taylor, Chief Chaplain for the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.

Tuesday night was the annual Peace Officers Memorial Service outside the Newton County Courthouse.

“We’ve lost 505 officers since this time last year. FBI statistics the other day said that and they referred to it as murder of police officers is up 53-percent,” continued Chaplain Taylor. “Number one was COVID. Number two was gunfire. Number three is vehicles, they get run over. And this is everybody from highway patrol to you get out of a car to make a stop they get run over.”

During the ceremony chaplains read the names of 16 law enforcement officials that passed away within a 50-mile radius of Neosho.

“Corporal Benjamin Cooper, recent Joplin Police Department. Tuesday March 8, 2022.”

“This year especially with the recent events in Joplin it means a lot more to us than normal this year,” said Chris Jennings, Newton County Sheriff.

“There’s been a big loss here in our community this year already with the Joplin officers. I think it reassures our officers when the community gathers, it reminds them of why they are here and it’s a big uplift,” said Jason Baird, Neosho Police Chief.

The chaplains finished the ceremony with taps and a prayer service.

“I would just like for them to remember the law enforcement is here to stand between them and the criminal element. That’s our mission and that’s what we will always do regardless of what happens,” Chief Baird added.

Once the ceremony was over, law enforcement held a reception. This gave them a chance to connect with community members.