By BRENDAN KIRBY
Throughout Washington County and across the county, police officers remembered fallen colleagues Thursday as National Police Week neared an end.
Hagerstown Police Chief Dale J. Jones and several other officers attended memorial ceremonies in Washington, D.C. for the 116 officers killed in the line of duty in 1996. Their names were etched into the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
In Hagerstown, city officials placed blue ribbons on parking meters downtown and some flags flew at half staff.
Despite the somber nature of the memorial, police officers have much to celebrate this year: The number of federal, state and local law enforcement officers killed last year dropped 30 percent from 1995.
It was the lowest number since 1959, according to the Memorial News, a Washington-based newsletter for law enforcement officials.
"A 30 percent decline in one year is significant," Jones said.
Police officials pointed to declining violent crime, better training and more sophisticated protective devices as reasons for the drop.