Police officers risk their lives on a daily basis to keep citizens safe from crime. National Police Week recognizes these law enforcement officers, and those who have sacrificed their lives to protect their communities.
National Police Week, an annual event, was celebrated in 2011 from May 15 – 21.
Steve Groeninger, senior director director of communications and marketing at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, says that National Police Week is celebrated in towns and cities across the country, including Washington, D.C.
“Many local departments and agencies will hold their own Peace Officers’ Memorial Services and many more will come to D.C. to participate in events and ceremonies held here,” Groeninger says.
“Officers come from around the country, also the world, to honor their brothers and sisters in law enforcement who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” says Andy Maybo, chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police, National Memorial Committee. "We also had a large international delegation which attended this year. When our brothers and sisters in law enforcement come together, especially from other countries, it exemplifies how unified law enforcement is across the world."
National Police Week Events
Maybo says that National Police Week is comprised of a number of events to honor law enforcement officers.
“The biggest events are the candlelight vigil held on May 13 and the National Peace Officers' Memorial Service, held on the West Front of the Capitol, on May 15,” Maybo says.
Groeninger says that 316 fallen officers’ names were read aloud and dedicated on the national monument to fallen officers at this year’s candlelight vigil.
“In efforts to share the candlelight vigil with folks around the world, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund partnered with Officer.com to offer a free webcast of the vigil,” Groeninger says.
Groeninger says the names of the fallen officers were read aloud and each was honored again at the annual Peace Officers’ Memorial Day service.
Honoring Police Officers Throughout the Year
The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund works to show year-round appreciation for police officers.
“The Memorial Fund works to honor officers throughout the year by holding events at the Memorial, by conducting officer safety programs, and through the Memorial's visitation program,” Groeninger says. “We work hard to get the word out about officer fatalities, believing that informed Americans will help keep officers safe in their communities.”
Groeninger says the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund also has an Officer of the Month program to honor outstanding police officers for their hard work.
“We are working hard to build the National Law Enforcement Museum which will tell the story of law enforcement in America through exhibits, collections, research, and education,” Groeninger says.
Author: Laura Jerpi