National Peace Officers Memorial Ceremonyby Amy Wenger on May 9, 2014
In conjunction with and observance of National Peace Officers Memorial Week, which runs from Sunday, May 11 through Saturday, May 17, the Bremen Police Department will be conducting a local ceremony dedicated to law enforcement officers that have valiantly served the community, from past to present. There will also be an honorable remembrance of two fallen department members who both had strong ties to their hometowns, careers, and families.
The commemoration will begin at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 13, and will take place at the Bremen Police Station, located at 123 South Center Street. Opening and closing prayers will be offered by Jim Morse, pastor of Horizon Ministries. Police Chief Matt Hassel will also be leading a portion of the program with a special presentation, and there will be a vocal performance by Kathy Overmyer, who serves as the vocal music and musical director for Bremen Public Schools.
Additional guest speakers will include Brad Thornton, who is the associate pastor for Bremen Missionary Church, as well as the chaplain for the Bremen Fire Department. Two of Bremen's former police officers will be given recognition on this day, with Belle Beeson sharing words of tribute to her father, Chad Beeson, who died in a car accident on October 24, 2003 while returning home from a volunteering stint at a sectional football game. Beeson was a Bremen High School graduate, star athlete, and was actively involved in civic causes.
Assistant Police Chief Steve Pittman will also speak about his uncle, Tony Swartzlander, who was on active duty as a Bremen police officer when he was struck by a speeding vehicle on February 22, 1981. Swartzlander was attempting to create a roadblock for the purpose of apprehending a car that was known to be carrying suspects from an armed robbery in Fish Lake. The fleeing car hit Swartzlander, causing his death before crashing, after which point the suspects were caught and arrested.
At the conclusion of the event, light refreshments will be provided, courtesy of the Bremen Chamber of Commerce, which is also assisting in sponsoring this memorial occasion. For further information, contact either the Bremen Chamber of Commerce at 574) 546-2044 or the Bremen Police Department at (574) 546-3456