May 12, 2016
Today, Nebraska U.S. Senators Ben Sasse and Deb Fischer honored Officer Kerrie Orozco by placing a wreath at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Ben Sasse offered the following statement:
"Office Orozco led by example — as a mother, wife, and police officer. Nebraskans will always remember her courage and sacrifice."
By Joseph Morton, Omaha World-Herald, May 12, 2016
WASHINGTON -- Slain Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco received one of many tributes Thursday as both of Nebraska’s U.S. senators and several of her fellow officers gathered at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
They laid a wreath at the spot where Orozco’s name is etched into the blue-gray marble wall and reflected on the life of a public servant dedicated to her community.
“She exemplifies the best of Nebraska,” Sen. Deb Fischer said. “She was an awesome person.”
Sen. Ben Sasse talked about a hero officer everyone in the state now knows. He recalled the kids at her funeral who were wearing jerseys from the athletic league to which she gave so much.
Her partner Kevin Wiese knelt and rubbed a pencil over paper to get a reproduction of her name in the marble.
Several of Orozco’s relatives, along with members of her law enforcement family, are in Washington this week for National Police Week. There are events throughout the next few days, including a candlelight vigil Friday night.
Orozco's lieutenant, Ken Kanger, said it’s a somber occasion, honoring an officer who was killed in the line of duty.
“But in the same breath you want to celebrate all the things that Kerrie did for the community, for law enforcement, for the Boys and Girls Club, for kids in general, for public service,” Kanger said. “It’s important that we do that as well, that we pay tribute and memorialize, celebrate everything that Kerrie has done.”
He emphasized that they also are honoring all of their fallen brothers and sisters, including Omaha’s Jimmy Wilson and Jason Pratt.
Omaha Police Lt. George Merithew recalled how Orozco started the policeman’s ball and roped him into helping after he asked some questions about it.
“She looked at me and said, ‘Well, if you have questions why don’t you get on the committee and help us?’ and I couldn’t say no,” he said, laughing at the memory. “It was just phenomenal working with her, to see her energy and how much she cared about Special Olympics and everything that she was doing. It was just amazing.”
He said she always was a “go-to” officer who would get the job done with a smile on her face.
“She made your day better when you ran into her, just because she was always in a good mood, always happy,” Merithew said. “We miss her and coming here is a way for us to say goodbye. It’s also a way for us to honor her memory.”