Officials, police gather to honor U.S. Constitution

Nicquel Terry
The Detroit News

Mount Clemens — In a patriotic ceremony with marching color guards and sounds of “America the Beautiful,” officials from across Metro Detroit celebrated the signing of the Constitution and the law enforcement officers that uphold it.

Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham speaks, Thursday Sept. 15, 2016, during a Patriot Week and Constitution Day Commemoration in front of the Macomb County Circuit Court Building in Mt. Clemens. (Steve Perez/ The Detroit News)

The Constitution Day Commemoration, which took place outside the Macomb County Courthouse with about 50 people on Thursday, was held to affirm principles of the U.S. Constitution and show appreciation for police.

Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham called police officers the “foot soldiers” of the Constitution.

“Our law enforcement personnel are dedicated to serving our community, protecting life and property all within the context of the U.S. Constitution,” Wickersham said. “For that, I thank and appreciate the men and women who have chosen this honorable profession.”

Wickersham was joined by other top law enforcement officials and dignitaries who also spoke before the small audience that included police officers, community members and boy scouts in the front row.

Some speakers noted the challenges police are facing due to recent events.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice David Viviano said the work of police officers has become a political issue.

“Sadly, they no longer enjoy the community support in some places around the country as they once did,” Viviano said. “And as a result, their jobs and our communities, I believe, are less safe.”

Macomb County Sheriff's Color Guard enters, Thursday Sept. 15, 2016, during a Patriot Week and Constitution Day Commemoration in front of the Macomb County Circuit Court Building in Mt. Clemens. (Steve Perez/ The Detroit News)

Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Joseph Quisenberry said: “Law enforcement is going through a very challenging time right now.”

Addressing future or aspiring police officers, Quisenberry added: “We do it to serve, and ask the question who do we serve, we serve ‘We the people’… the first three words of the Constitution.”

Macomb County Probate Judge Carl Marlinga discussed the concept behind the U.S. Constitution, telling the audience that it was written to restrict the power of government.

“Not because we think that people in government are evil, it’s just that government has a tendency over the years to take more and more power,” Marlinga said.

Wayne County Deputy Chief Scott Gatti said Americans are fortunate to live in a country where governance is rooted in the concept of individual liberties.

“The people have entrusted us with their security,” Gatti said. “That’s a very heavy responsibility in my eyes, maybe the most heavy responsibility of government.”

nterry@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @NicquelTerry