SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Police Officer Joseph Gentile has been appointed to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund Board of Directors.

Officer Gentile has been the President of the Local 364; International Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO) Patrolman’s Union since 2009 and also serves as the National Vice President of the IBPO.  Officer Gentile has been a Springfield Police Officer for 26 years and was appointed to this National Board of Directors in March.

“This is a great honor for Officer Gentile and he continues to make the Springfield Police Department proud with the work he has done and the local organizations he has helped support.  I have visited the Memorial in Washington D.C.; the memorial and its fund that supports it are so important to keep these officers’ memories alive and remind the public how dangerous this profession really is.  Across the nation, Police Officers are killed on average every week by gunfire and those are the stories that need to be told,” said Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood.

“I was humbled to be asked to be part of this Board of Directors to support such a worthy cause in our line of work.  The memorial itself and the annual candlelight vigil are integral to not only police officers, survivors and their families, but it is also much larger than all of us.  It recognizes the more than 20,000 police officers who have not been able to go home to their families because they obeyed their oath and protected the citizens they serve,” said Springfield Police Officer Joseph Gentile.

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “Congratulations to Officer Joe Gentile.  This is a tremendous honor and Commissioner Clapprood and I are very proud of the work Officer Gentile continues to do on behalf of our residents and business community but more importantly for our brave and dedicated men and women in blue who continue to serve with distinction.  It is always important we always remember and never forget the ‘sentinels of peace’, who made the ultimate sacrifice to save lives in need.  God Bless Officer Gentile and our SPD!”

The mission of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is to tell the story of American law enforcement, honor the fallen and make it safer for those who serve.  The National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C. honors police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

 So far in 2021 (As of May 10th), 19 police officers have been shot to death in the line of duty, two were stabbed to death, four were victims of assault and an additional 15 were victims of either vehicular assault or being struck by a vehicle.

The Springfield Police Department has 17 police officers who have been killed in the line of duty and their names are etched in the Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C.

This year, hundreds of names will be engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which will bring the total to 22,611 officers killed in the line of duty memorialized there.

The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund will host a Virtual Candlelight Vigil on May 13 at 8:00 p.m. to memorialize those who sacrificed all for their communities. An in-person event honoring the fallen will be held during National Police Weekend, Oct. 13-17.

While Officer Gentile has served as the President of the Local 364 Patrolman’s Union he has helped create their own charity, 364 Gives which has raised and donated more than $150,000 to various local organizations in the past ten years.

National Police Week runs from May 9th to May 15th.  On Wednesday May 12th at 3:45pm, the Springfield Police Department will host its annual memorial ceremony to honor our fallen officers outside of 130 Pearl Street.