Law enforcement, community members remember fallen officers

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Local law enforcement stood side-by-side with members of the community to honor the service of fallen officers Monday night.

Those in attendance held flags. A thin blue line on the flags represents the officers' willingness to die to protect others.

"The thin blue line. Tonight, all of us will have an opportunity to walk that beat," Officer Gregory O'Neil said.

Omaha Police officers, deputies from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and the people they protect stood in solidarity to remember the heroes whose service was cut short.

"Each one of us puts our life at risk. It's just a different uniform. We're all in this together," Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said.

OPD said that a law enforcement officer dies or is killed in the line of duty every 55 hours. An average of 158 officers are killed each year.

"It's a really emotional atmosphere just remembering all the law enforcement officers who have lost their lives and paying respects to them," Officer Bailey Sailors said.

Officer Kerrie Orozco was the last protector of Omaha streets taken from the force.

The soon-to-be mother was shot and killed serving a felony arrest warrant in May of 2015.

"We know... we have an idea of who they are. This all just crystallizes for us what they have done," Officer Muorter Majok said.

Officers Majok and Sailors are rookies on the police force. The pair learned about Orozco and the dozens of other Omaha officers killed during service.

The two were selected to lead the march, retracing the fallen officers' journeys and marking the start of their beat on the thin blue line.

"This is the first step and we've got a long way to go," Majok said.

OPD said 163 law enforcement officers were killed last year.

Gunfire deaths are the number-one cause of death for officers.