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Slain officers honored at memorial breakfast

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HOPEWELL, Va. (WTVR) – The names of 22 members of the Tri-City law enforcement community and the surrounding area were read Wednesday morning during the 20th Annual Tri-City Law Enforcement Memorial Breakfast. This ceremony was hosted by the Prince George County Police Department.

More than 350 police officers, sheriff’s deputies, members of the Virginia State Police and family members gathered to remember the fallen officers.

The law enforcement officers honored at the ceremony ranged from John Minetree, Jr., a Petersburg High Constable’s Office member who was killed in 1881 to Master State Trooper J.A. Walker who was shot and killed in 2013.

Many of the victims’ family members were on hand for the observance.

“It means that we have a bigger family, then what we thought we had,” said Mandy Walizer, Deputy Mike Walizer’s widow. “They’re always there to protect, serve and to just help us out and to show love when it’s needed.”

The yearly memorial is held at the Hopewell Moose Lodge, which provides the building and the meal in honor of National Police Week.