Last year, 129 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty.
This morning, at the 37th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, President Trump joined senior officials from across the Administration to honor these heroes’ sacrifices and recognize their families.
In May of 1982, 125 people gathered for the First National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service.
Over the last 37 years, the Fraternal Order of Police has honored more than 5,000 law enforcement officers nationwide.
Today, more than 20,000 officers, families, and friends of law enforcement attended the annual Memorial Service.
In addition to the 129 officers who died in 2017, this year’s event will honor 70 additional officers whose deaths were previously unrecognized.
Many of these 70 officers died from illnesses related to service during the September 11 attacks.
(President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the 37th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service. Courtesy of The White House and YouTube. Posted on May 15, 2018)
The National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service is the capstone event of National Police Week.
National Police Week History
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week.
Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement.
Decades later, the event, more commonly known as National Police Week, has grown to a series of events which attracts thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to our Nation’s Capital each year.
The National Peace Officers Memorial Service, which is sponsored by the Grand Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, is one in a series of events which includes the Candlelight Vigil, which is sponsored by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) and seminars sponsored by Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.).
“We come together today to grieve the loss of these fine men and women, but also to honor their lives and their sacrifice,” said Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police.
“We will find peace and renew our commitment to the safety of the communities we protect.”
“National Police Week is a special time for our nation as we all pause and reflect on these fallen heroes who gave their all, who put themselves in harm’s way to protect the nation and the neighborhoods they served.”
“We remember and celebrate not only their lives, but also the lives of the families and loved ones these officers have left behind.”
“And today, at this National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, we come together with the President and Vice President of the United States, to honor the memories and mourn with the families of the fallen.”
(Learn More. Police Week is a special time to honor those who’ve given their lives to keep others safe. On Sunday May 13 the lives of 21,541 men and women were honored during the #PoliceWeek2018 Candlelight Vigil. Courtesy of Motorola Solutions and YouTube)
During National Police Week, thousands of law enforcement officers in every region of the nation and corner of the country gather at memorial services to honor their fallen brothers and sisters.
More than 25,000 officers, as well as the surviving family members and friends of slain officers, have traveled to the nation’s capital to attend the 37th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, which remains the nation’s largest and most prominent memorial service held on behalf of fallen law enforcement officers.
“In our grief, we find solitude. In our healing, we find gratitude. We carry on and renew our dedication and service to the communities we protect and serve,” added President Canterbury.
(Learn More. A nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Washington, DC, the Memorial Fund built and continues to maintain the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial — the nation’s monument to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. The Memorial Fund is a principal organizer of the National Police Week observance each May and hosts a Candlelight Vigil at the Memorial each May 13 to honor all fallen officers. In addition, the Fund maintains the largest, most comprehensive database of line-of-duty officer deaths, conducts research into officer fatality trends and issues, and serves as an information clearinghouse. Courtesy of The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and YouTube)
Since the first recorded police death in 1791, there have been over 21,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
Sadly law enforcement fatalities are up 4% from this same time last year.
Of the 53 fatalities reported through May 14, 2018, 28 have been firearms-related. In 2017, a total of 44 officers were shot and killed, with the highest percentage involving officers responding to a domestic disturbance or domestic-related incident.
(The 2018 Police Unity Tour. Courtesy of the Fremont Police Department and YouTube. Posted on May 14, 2018)