The History of National Police Week

history of national police week

Since 1962, law enforcement officers and their families and supporters have descended upon the nation’s capital for what is known as National Police Week.

Peace Officers Memorial Day

History of Police Officers Memorial Day

This monumental gathering to celebrate police forces and memorialize those who have passed away was established  by President John F. Kennedy. Originally, President Kennedy designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and he included the week of this holiday as National Police Week. A new tradition was born.

Each year, thousands of law enforcement officers and supporters arrive in Washington, D.C., ready for a week full of activities, ceremonies, and conferences. National Police Week is intended to be an occasion for education, memorialization, and celebration.

National Police Week Events

National Police Week has an average attendance of anywhere from 25,000 to 40,000 people who come from all over the United States and even other countries. Throughout the week, a number of events are scheduled -from a candlelight vigil to a 5k run, memorial events and social get togethers. . The Fraternal Order of Police DC Lodge #1 is a prominent supporter of these events, sponsoring receptions and other events throughout the week.

One of the biggest draws of National Police Week is Tent City, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2019. This year, the National Police Support Fund is proud to be one of the sponsors for Police Week Tent City.

Police Week Tent City is one of the largest events on the schedule for National Police Week. It will be held for several days, from May 13-15, and presents a great opportunity for networking with other law enforcement officials. Tent City itself has humble beginnings, starting with just a handful of tents intended to feed and water eager attendees. Over time, however, Tent City has grown into a massive networking opportunity, spanning multiple days, with something to offer the whole family.

Tent City offers food, drinks, entertainment, shopping, and a safe environment for those who wish to spend some time enjoying the camaraderie. At its roots, National Police Week was created to serve as a weekend of reflection and relaxation for our hard working law enforcement officers who work hard to keep our communities safe.

Remembering – and Celebrating – Fallen Law Enforcement Officers

When National Police Week was first created, it centered around Peace Officers Memorial Day, which was enacted to remember fallen officers or those who have been disabled. What has evolved is a well-supported event that both memorializes and celebrates the law enforcement officer.

Though the purpose of the holiday is inherently somber, National Police Week – and Tent City specifically – is  rather festive and celebratory. This is intended to offer a safe, relaxing environment for those who are used to working in tense, hostile conditions. While given the opportunity to reflect and remember, these officers are also invited to kick back and relax in a safe space.

As we prepare to converge on Washington, D.C., it’s important to remember our fallen officers and all the courage and hard work it takes to truly keep our communities safe.

Happy National Police Week!

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