With an honor guard and bagpipes player, Mesa police on Monday remembered Steven Pollard and Hyrum Smith Peterson, their two fallen officers.
Police officers throughout the state memorialized fallen officers from their respective agencies in similar ceremonies leading up to National Police Week, which runs next week and includes National Peace Officers Memorial Day on May 15.
It is a day of honor designated in 1962 by President Kennedy. Mesa police Chief George Gascón said police officers see their jobs as more of a calling.
"It is about public service," Gascón said at Mesa's ceremony.
Last year, 187 officers nationwide lost their lives in the line of duty and 37 have so far this year.
Mesa lost its first peace officer on Nov. 12, 1913.
Peterson, a town marshal, was patrolling downtown Mesa on a bicycle when he came across a bicycle thief, according to Pastor David Land, a police chaplain.
He caught up with two men at a bridge at Country Club and University drives, where he was shot five times.
Pollard, who lost his life on Nov. 27, 1994, had been with the department only 20 months and left behind a 1-year-old daughter.
Pollard, 26, had stopped a car at Crismon Road and U.S. 60 when he was hit by a car as he was leaving his vehicle.
"It's by God's grace we have not had to remember someone else," said.