National Police Week occurs every May and is a collaborative effort that honors the efforts of law enforcement around the U.S. Police officers selflessly put their lives on the line to protect their communities and unfortunately, some pay the ultimate sacrifice. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, for instance, there were 943 police line-of-duty deaths between 2021 and 2022.
National Police Week Events
There are various events that will take place during National Police Week, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund website. For instance, there will be an FBI wreath-laying ceremony at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC; a candlelight vigil; and an annual National Peace Officers’ memorial service. Other events include the Ambassador Wreath Laying and the “Stand Watch for the Fallen” program as part of National Police Week.
Related article: The National Police Shortage and Technology as a Solution
How to Show Support for Police Officers
Showing our appreciation for law enforcement is essential. Police officers’ daily acts of courage, professionalism and dedication to serving the needs of their community are often overshadowed by the actions of a few, which does not represent law enforcement as a whole.
There are several ways that citizens can honor the police officers in their community and nationwide. First, sharing positive stories about law enforcement on social media is a good way to help others understand the great work police officers do. Examples of these stories include:
- Two police officers from the Phoenix Police Department who spent $80 of their own money to buy items for someone who was on the street on a cold night without shoes or adequate clothing
- NYPD officers who bought food for a woman who was attempting to shoplift because she was starving
- An officer in Michigan who saved five lives in his career, including a toddler who went missing in a rural area
Second, citizens can show appreciation for law enforcement is to join a citizens police academy. These organizations help law enforcement by empowering local residents to handle some routine or administrative aspects of policing, which lessens the burden on police officers.
Third, citizens can help law enforcement officers by encouraging legislators to provide additional funding for police equipment and training. That effort will help to improve officer safety through training and through providing police officers with the most advanced technology, so that they can do their jobs with greater safety.
Fourth, parents can teach their children to respect and trust law enforcement officers. When they are taught to trust the police, children will be more likely to approach a police officer when they need help at school or in the community.
Fifth, people can also show support to police officers by donating their time or funds to police support organizations, such as the National Police Association or the National Concerns of Police Survivors. There are many police support organizations throughout the United States that offer a wide array of useful support services to officers and their families. Consider seeking out these organizations within your own community.
Consider Paying Tribute to Your Police Officers
Law enforcement is a rewarding and challenging job. But it’s not easy; officers have to effectively manage stress, mitigate the fatigue associated with shift work and maintain a proper work-life balance.
During National Police Week, please consider participating in the events held in Washington D.C. or in your community that honor police officers.