The Sedalia Police Department honored the 154 men & women of law enforcement in the US who died in the line of duty over the past year during a special somber ceremony held at City Hall Monday evening.

Randy Kirby

The 20-minute ceremony was the 21st annual for the department, which was joined by numerous other local law enforcement personnel and first responders.

Sedalia Police Chief John DeGonia said that it was a sad year.

“We had 154 officers killed in the line of duty. That's 33 more than last year,” DeGononia said, adding that 77 of those involved gunfire or violent acts, again, up from last year's figures.

After a brief performance from bagpiper Maryann Marti, Richard DeFord sang the Star Spangled Banner with pride.

Pastor Don Satterwhite supplied the invocation.

“In our country, it seems like there are many who feel entitled to do whatever they want. And law enforcement officers are not given the reverence and respect they should be given,” Pastor Satterwhite said.

Sedalia Mayor Stephen J. Galliher then presented a proclamation to honor those we lost, noting that May 14-20 is National Police Week.

"The City of Sedalia desires to honor the valor and service and dedication of our own police officers ... the men and women of the SPD continually provide vital public service," the proclamation read in part.

A 21-gun memorial salute by the SPD's Honor Guard concluded the event, along with the playing of Taps by Yeager Coen.

A reception followed the ceremony inside the Muncipal Building, Second and Osage.