LENEXA, Kan. — Officers killed in the line of duty are being honored across the Kansas City metro area during National Police Week.

The Lenexa Police Department held a wreath-laying ceremony and moment of silence on Monday to pay their respects.

Although the department has never lost an officer of their own in the line of duty, Master Police Officer Danny Chavez said it’s still important they take time this week to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving and protecting their community.

“We know that that could be any one of us,” Chavez said. “The nature of this job is dangerous.”

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the department honors the day with a ceremony every year.

This year’s ceremony was notably heavier after the deaths of local officers Daniel Vasquez, James Muhlbauer, and his K-9, Champ, in the line of duty.

“We think of those officers who were responding to calls, serving their community, just like we do every day, just like we will today after this ceremony,” Chavez said. “And that could have been one of us, so we feel like it’s the least we can do is to honor those officers’ memories.”

Throughout the week people in the Lenexa community are encouraged to pay their own respects by placing flowers or cards at the fountain to remember fallen officers.

The Kansas City Police Department held its own ceremony Friday to honor all of the 120 officers the department has lost in the line of duty, including Officer Muhlbauer.

The Independence Police Department plans to hold a memorial service honoring officers on May 17th and 7:30 p.m. The last officers the department lost in the line of duty were Sgt. John Bullard and Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans in 2021.