The pay is average and the risk is great, but every day police officers across the country suit up to protect and serve their communities.
This week serves as a time to recognize and honor those officers who serve the community.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed the week of May 15 as National Police Week, and since then, police departments have honored their officers and paid tribute to those lost in the line of duty in a memorial service in Washington, D.C.
T-R PHOTO BY LUKE STALZER
Squad cars sit outside the Marshalltown Police Department Monday afternoon. This week marks National Police Week across the country, which recognizes police officers for their service and also honors those lost in the line of duty.
"The entire week is to thank our public safety folks for the work they do," Mike Tupper, Marshalltown police chief, said. "It's also a time to think about the police officers and sheriff's deputies we lose around the year."
Tupper said the job continues to be a very dangerous career. In 2012, 120 officers were killed in the line of duty and more than 54,000 were injured. Those numbers are down from previous years.
Just last November, a Marshalltown police officer was injured in the line of duty and recently returned to work. Officer Vern Jefferson was shot in the leg after responding to an armed robbery.
"This is also a time to reflect," Tupper said.
Tupper said if anyone in the community sees a police officer or sheriff's deputy this week, they should thank them for their service and the work they do.
"We have a great police department here, and I'm very proud of what they do," Tupper said.