By Jill Harmacinski
---- — METHUEN — Every 54 hours, a police officer is killed.
The inherent danger of police work and the risks law enforcement officers face on each and every shift are chronicled in the new documentary “Heroes Behind the Badge.”
The 90-minute film which chronicles numerous officers who were killed in the line of duty debuted last night during a special screening at Tenney Grammar School.
Methuen Officer Kenneth Leone arranged for the local viewing and a percentage of the proceeds benefited the Methuen Police Honor Guard and the New England Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors. Some 30 people, many police officers, attended last night.
Leone said he organized the local viewing to illustrate how police officers “always put their lives on the line.”
“So people have a better appreciation of what we do and the sacrifices we make as law enforcement as a whole,” Leone said.
The documentary was released this fall and tells the story of “brave men and woman in law enforcement who put their lives on the line.” Actor Vincent D’Onofrio, who plays Detective Robert Goren on the television drama “Law & Order, Criminal Intent” narrates the documentary.
A number of fallen officers are remembered in the film. There are also interviews with their superior officers, partners and co-workers, spouses, children and parents.
Police Chief Joseph Solomon described the film as both “well done” and “very moving.”
“It hit at the core of dangers that are out there. I wish more people would see it,” Solomon said.
With budget planning looming, Solomon said he wished more elected officials went last night to underscore the need for adequate staffing, bullet resistant vests and other life-saving equipment.
He hopes people who see the film “get a new appreciation for what officers do every day.”
Diana DiZoglio, the newly-elected Democratic state representative from Methuen, described the film as “eye-opening.”
“... A reminder of how these men and women constantly put themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe,” she said.
For more information, check out Heroesbehindthebadge.com.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screenname EagleTribJill.