Did you know that there are a few times throughout the year to celebrate or observe the sacrifices law enforcement officers make?
There is Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (often called L.E.A.D.), Thank a Police Officer Day and National Police Week, but the meaning behind each of these days is actually very different.
While the first two are meant to serve as days to thank law enforcement, National Police Week is a week dedicated to honoring those we lost the previous year in the Line of Duty.
Sadly, the true meaning to National Police Week is often confused. It is much more than just bringing cookies to the PD or saying thank you to a police officer.
Ways to Observe National Police Week
Every year in May the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors) come together to host various events and services to honor the officers we have lost and their families. These large events happen every year in Washington, D.C. but many departments, cities and jurisdictions around the nation also have their own remembrance events, as well.
National Police Week services/events:
The candlelight vigil is typically held on the National Mall in DC on May 13th. This is a time where people come together to dedicate the names of fallen heroes on the Memorial Wall. A candle is lit in the honor of every fallen officer from the previous year.
National Police Survivors Conference
During this time the families of the fallen come together to learn about grief, meet with other survivors and gain support during this grief conference.
Many other events include support for teens and kids, a law enforcement gala, National Peace Officer’s Memorial Service (always on May 15th), picnics and Tent City.
Can we still show support to law enforcement during Police Week?
Absolutely! Law enforcement deserve recognition and support all year long.
Tent City is typically a fun time where law enforcement officers come together to hang out, shop law enforcement supportive companies and meet fellow officers from around the world. Many like to us this time to give support to the survivors and the law enforcement who currently serve. I think it is absolutely fine to do this as long as we don’t forget the true reason for coming together during this week and that is to honor those we have lost.
We lose a staggering number of law enforcement officers each and every year and I hope you will join me in remembering those we have lost during this very important week (and all throughout the year).
You can look at this website to view current and past numbers of line of duty deaths.