'We need a transformation in our culture:' Wife of fallen deputy calls for more respect for officers during police week

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - There is the familiar ceremonial tradition as the Pikes Peak region honors fallen officers. But, what has become too famliar is the loss of law enforcement officers nationwide.

El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder says this time to honor those who have died in the line of duty is also a time for change.

"To have people disrespect law enforcement the way they do is about enough," said Sheriff Elder.

It's a sentiment Rachael Flick echoes. Her husband, Deputy Micah Flick, was killed in a shootout with a car theft suspect last February.

"I think we need a transformation in our culture where we once again respect and honor law enforcement.

Both Flick and Sheriff Elder attended a ceremony at Memorial Park in Colorado Springs Friday to pay tribute to fallen officers. The ceremony is part of National Police Week that includes similar events nationwide.

"I think the community needs to know how incredibly tough this job is sometimes and how much people put into this," said Elder.

Flick, Elder, and others who attended Friday's ceremony also flew to Washington DC this week to join thousands of others on the US Capitol lawn. Deputy Micah Flick's name was just added to the national memorial this year.

“I want them to come to this memorial and remember that we have a real heroes," said Rachael Flick. "we can appreciate them and value them and their sacrifice.”

Flick says Friday's ceremony is not just about grief, but about healing.

“The survivors and the officers are still experiencing grief and loss," said Flick. “Heroes wear uniforms. Heroes have badges. And, this is proof that we have real heroes living amongst us.”