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GRAND CHUTE, Wis. - In honor of National Police Week, a vigil took place Monday night in Grand Chute, honoring those killed in the line of duty.
The 129 names of law enforcement members killed in 2017 were read out loud during the candle ceremony. Those names will be added to the national memorial in Washington, D.C.
Three guest speakers, members of the law enforcement community, also shared their stories of overcoming obstacles while on the job.
One of those guest speakers was Officer Brian Murphy of Ashwaubenon Public Safety, who was opening up publicly about his injuries.
Officer Murphy was hurt last July when he was hit by an alleged drunk driver while responding to a car fire on I-41.
“You'll have good days, you'll have bad days,” said Officer Murphy. “And as long as the good days outnumber the bad days and there's progress, you’ve just got to put your head down and push through it.”
Officer Murphy said he spent 17 days in the hospital before walking out on his road to recovery. He had two surgeries and a lot of physical therapy.
“Overall I'm doing pretty good, few lingering things but the main thing is that I'm here talking to you,” he said.
Monday, he shared his experience with the community and gave advice to those thinking about a career in law enforcement. He said it's so important to pay respect to those putting their lives on the line..
“Unfortunately these things have always happened in law enforcement, these critical incidents, unfortunately officers dying in the line of duty, it has always happened. I wish I could say it's not going to happen again, but it is,” he said.
He says for him, the decision to go back to work after the injury was not difficult. It gave him perspective into what matters.
“I think what it's changed is my appreciation for things, not just the job, but life and family in general,” said Officer Murphy.
He said he wants vigils like this to open up lines of communication for law enforcement and the community. He said he saw first-hand what that support can do.
“That was huge. That was humbling to have cards come in from members of Ashwaubenon, even people from outside of Ashwaubenon,” he said.