Peoria County Sheriff's Department honors its own

By Paul Strater

May 15, 2012 Updated May 16, 2012 at 11:43 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill - May 13-19 is National Police Week. Americans are called to recognize the service and sacrifice of those serving in law enforcement.

The Peoria County Sheriff's Department held its annual memorial for its fallen officers.

Four members of the department, and one K-9 officer, have given their lives in service to Peoria County.

Sheriff Michael McCoy says the community can't forget what these officers gave up to protect the community.

"They've given the ultimate sacrifice. Their families are still with us. We were good friends with at least two of the officers that we had here," McCoy said. "Most of us knew them personally. And their memory needs to be brought forth at least once a year."

At the annual awards dinner, Deputy Sheriff Jeffrey Avery received the 2011 Deputy Sheriff of the Year award for his work in combating cyber-crime.

"That's the thing that I get the most satisfaction out of. Knowing that there are predators out there that all they want to do is go after our young kids. And now, you know, with the Internet, it's so much easier for them to do that," said Avery.

Awards were also given for the Peoria County Corrections Department and several civilian awards.

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