By SHEILA SELMAN
THE GOSHEN NEWS
GOSHEN — It will be a sight not seen in 13 years in the city of Goshen.
Fifty-seven Goshen police officers decked out in Class A dress uniforms plus six civilian employees will assemble in formation in front of the Goshen Police and Courts Building on Jefferson Street Wednesday to commemorate National Peace Officers Day.
The police department has a ceremony each year for National Peace Officers Day, but this is the first time since 2000 that the whole department has assembled in full dress uniform, explained Honor Guard Commander Sgt. Kevin Koontz.
Koontz said, “We would really like for the public to attend the ceremony,” which starts at 7 p.m. and will last about an hour. All of the department’s retirees have also been personally invited.
Along with the police contingent: Colors will be posted; chaplain Jim Schrock will give the invocation; councilman Jeremy Stutsman will speak; Sharon Johnson, aunt of slain Goshen police officer Thomas Goodwin, will award five Thomas Goodwin Memorial Scholarships; Chief Wade Branson will speak; Fraternal Order of Police President Nick McCloughen will do roll call; Darren Sroufe will be the keynote speaker; and military honors will be given.
Koontz said that two people from the Veterans of Foreign Wars post will play echo “Taps.” And a bagpiper from Berrien County, Mich., will perform selections, including “Amazing Grace.”
Because all of Goshen’s officers will be at the ceremony, Elkhart County deputies and a few retirees who are still sworn officers will be helping patrol the city, Koontz said.
For people who cannot attend the ceremony but want to show their support for police officers, Koontz said, “They can display blue lights or candles in their windows.”
The police department is located at 111 E. Jefferson St.
The area of Jefferson between Fifth and Main streets will be closed to traffic starting at 4 p.m.