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National Police Week

On October 1, 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed Public Law 87-726 designating May 15th of each year as a day to honor all of law enforcement and remember those who have died in service to their country. In 1994, President William Clinton amended the law to direct the flag on the US Capitol and all federal government buildings be flown at half-staff to remember fallen law enforcement officers.

In May of 1982, the first National Police Week ceremony in Washington, DC, was held on the lawn of our nation's capitol. Sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the event is now part of a weeklong events sponsored by the Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS), that provide seminars for the family and friends of officers killed in the line of duty. Another annual event includes the candlelight vigil held on May 13th at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington. During this ceremony, newly engraved names added to the Memorial are read and dedicated. The memorial now holds over 16,600 names and there is room for the approximate 150 officers who die in the line of duty each year.

Facts and Figures
Approximately 740,000 sworn law enforcement officers serve our nation. On the average, 150 officers die each year in the line of duty. That is one every 57 hours. Statistics supported by the FBI Behavioral Unit and Center for Disease Control indicate that an alarming three times as many officers complete the act of suicide each year.

The deadliest year in law enforcement history was 1974 when 270 officers were killed in the line of duty and no one single incident accounted for multiple deaths.

The deadliest day in law enforcement history was September 11, 2001, when 72 officers were killed in the line of duty.

Tributes and Monuments

National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial
4th & E Street, Washington DC
Dedicated October 1991

Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial
Capitol Grounds in Madison
Dedicated June 1998

Community Tribute to Law Enforcement
307 S. Adams Street, Green Bay
Dedicated May 1994

There are numerous local memorials including the one at Sunset Park in the Town of Hobart honoring Officers Stephanie Markins and Bob Etter as well as the one at the Brown County Courthouse honoring all Brown County officers who have died in the line of duty.

The Concerns for Police Survivors also sponsors a Blue Ribbon campaign supporting law enforcement. Ribbons are available at all local law enforcement agencies.
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