Gov. Kim Reynolds has ordered flags in Iowa to half staff today (Friday) for the Iowa Peace Officer Memorial Ceremony as the state honors law enforcement who died in the line of duty over the past year. Two officers will be honored during the 2023 ceremony: Fremont County Deputy Austin “Melvin” Richardson and Coralville Police Sergeant John Karl Williams. Richardson was returning from a call for service on June 14, 2022, and collided with a combine on Highway 275 near Hamburg. On July 3, 2022, Williams died of cardiac arrest after responding to a fatal shooting involving a three-year-old child. Reynolds says, “These officers lost their lives defending and protecting their communities. The community of Coralville, the state of Iowa, and their brothers and sisters in law enforcement will never forget their service. While their families and our state continue to grieve, lowering flags across the state serves as a small memory of their sacrifice and is a reminder to every Iowan the importance of law enforcement to our communities.” Flags will be at half-staff on the State Capitol Building and on flag displays in the Capitol Complex from sunrise to sunset today (Friday), May 5. Flags will also be at half-staff on all public buildings, grounds, and facilities throughout the state. Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties, and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.
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