WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump paid tribute to Southport Police Lieutenant Aaron Allan during the 37th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial service.
During his speech, the President referred to Allan as “special” and assured Allan’s wife and children that they had the support and love of the country.
“Allan will live in our hearts forever,” the President said.
Allan was one of nearly 200 law enforcement officers honored during this year’s memorial. The ceremony included key speeches from Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
During his speech, President Trump also called on the justice department to protect those in law enforcement and help “end the attacks on our police.”
“We believe the criminals who kill our police should get the death penalty, bring it forth,” the President said.
President Trump’s acknowledgement of Lt. Allan’s death marks the second time it was publicly recognized during National Police Week. John Ashcroft, the Chairman of the National Law Enforcement Memorial fund, also gave a nod to Southport during the National Law Enforcement Officers Candlelight Vigil on Sunday.
Southport Police Chief Tom Vaughn says the support has been overwhelming to him and Allan’s wife Stacy.
“And to hear the president say it, I think meant the world to her,” Vaughn said.
Indianapolis FOP President Rick Snyder said the speech highlighted the type of person Lieutenant Allan was; someone the whole country was left inspired by.
“To have the President of the United States speak directly to his courage, and his incident, and his sacrifice, I think should convey to all the folks back home that this country recognizes his service and remembers and will never forget what he did,” Snyder said.
One of the most touching moments of the ceremony came at the end. Allan’s young son Aaron Jr. placed a red carnation in a ceremonial wreath as tribute to his late father. Tom Vaughn said that throughout the course of the week, the Allan family attended three wreath ceremonies. Vaughn said each time, Aaron Jr. was the one to place the carnation in the wreath.
“He’s 5 years old, he’s not going to remember a lot about his dad, so hopefully this is something he can look back on and know who his father was,” Vaughn said.