When preparations were being made for the New Hampshire Law Enforcement Officers Memorial ceremony next week, organizers didn’t realize they would be honoring yet another officer killed in the line of duty.
Brentwood police Officer Steve Arkell was fatally shot this week while responding to a domestic disturbance.
Arkell, 48, will be among 47 New Hampshire police officers honored Monday for their sacrifice at the annual ceremony in Concord.
The ceremony, held at the officers’ memorial outside the Legislative Office Building, comes only two days before Arkell’s memorial service Wednesday in Exeter.
An event that is traditionally attended by hundreds of police officers could see thousands of officers, according to Maj. Christopher AuCoin, operations commander for New Hampshire State Police.
Whenever an officer dies in the line of duty, police don’t hesitate to travel great distances to honor him or her, AuCoin said. There have been numerous outside inquiries, he said.
“We could draw up to 5,000,” AuCoin said yesterday. “We could get them from across the nation and outside the country.”
Locally, police officials from throughout Southern New Hampshire said yesterday at least several members of their departments expect to attend the ceremony in Concord and the memorial service for Arkell.
Musicians from two local schools — Londonderry High School and Woodbury Middle School — will perform at the ceremony Monday.
Some police departments, including Salem and Plaistow, will send their honor or color guards.
Police departments are making arrangements so officers can attend the services and still cover all shifts. Other departments to confirm they are sending officers include Londonderry, Derry, Hampstead, Sandown and Atkinson.
“Unfortunately, not everyone can go, but we anticipate there will be a good number of people going,” Plaistow Deputy police Chief Kathleen Jones said. “You feel the pain because it is your brother or sister officer.”