National Police Week Ceremony Honors Panhandle Trooper, Lincoln Investigator Who Died While On Duty


     This is National Police Week and various law enforcement agencies from across Nebraska gathered in Grand Island Monday morning to honor two officers who died while on active duty in the past two years.

     Nebraska State Trooper Jerry Smith and Lincoln Police investigator Luis “Mario” Herrera had their names placed on the wall of fallen officers at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Memorial 

      Trooper Smith was killed in the line of duty on June 20, 2019, when his cruiser was struck nearly head-on by another vehicle while he was patrolling on Highway 26 near Bridgeport.

      Investigator Herrera died after being shot August 26, 2020, while serving a warrant in Lincoln.

     Governor Pete Ricketts delivered the keynote address for the Monday ceremony, telling the audience that “if it wasn’t for men like Mario and Jerry and all their brothers and sisters we would not have the greatest nation the world has ever seen.”

      President Biden has designated this Saturday, May 15, as National Peace Officers Memorial Day, but South Dakota traditionally recognizes Peace Officers Memorial Day on the Wednesday in Police Week.

     As a result, Governor Kristi Noem has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday at the State Capitol and statewide on Saturday.