Since 1962, May 15 has been recognized as National Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week in which that day falls as National Police Week.

During this time we honor and remember all law-enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

To this date, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, as of the first week in May, there have been 49 officers killed in the line of duty across the country in 2018.

For central Ohio's law-enforcement community, this year's Police Week is painfully significant.

The tragic loss of Westerville officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli continues to weigh heavily on our hearts.

The term, thin blue line, has been associated with the law enforcement profession as far back as the 1950s.

The officers are the thin blue line between order and chaos, good and evil, victim and criminal.

And many have made the ultimate sacrifice holding firm to this line, and to the solemn oath they took to protect and serve.

After the tragic deaths of Joering and Morelli, residents were encouraged to show their support for law enforcement by replacing a regular light bulb outside their home with a blue one.

Although some blue lights were installed for only a short time, many others still can be seen months later. In this way, and many others, we greatly appreciate the ongoing support our residents show to our officers and to the department.

During National Police Week, May 13-19, we ask that you join us in remembering not only the fallen officers but also their families and fellow officers who continue to need the support of their community.

The Protect & Serve column was submitted by the Pickerington Division of Police communications technicians.