59 years ago, 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. This year looks very different- with in-person Police Week in Washington DC postponed until October but virtual honors, commemoration, and events scheduled for this week, May 9th-15th, 2021.
According to the official Police Week website, National Police Week draws in between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees. The attendees come from departments throughout the United States as well as from agencies throughout the world. This provides a unique opportunity to meet others who work in law enforcement. In that spirit, the Fraternal Order of Police DC Lodge #1 sponsors receptions each afternoon and evening during Police Week. These events are open to all law enforcement personnel and are an experience unlike any other.
National Police Week is always an important time for officers and their families, including the families of those that lost a loved one in the line of duty. However, this year seems to be even more poignant and necessary. As the men and women in blue have faced down a global pandemic, anti-police rhetoric, riots, defunding, and more. This Police Week in May, and again in October, is a time for community, unity, and understanding with others that fully comprehend the stakes of this profession.
Other events during Police Week typically include a Candlelight Vigil, Survivors’ Conference, Memorial Service, and of course Tent City- a place for officers and their families to meet and enjoy camaraderie with officers from across the country.
This year, engravers will add 394 LODD (line of duty deaths) names to the National Law Enforcement Memorial wall. Those names include officers who died in the line of duty recently, as well as some lost in earlier years but were recently discovered. Of the 394 names, 182 lives were lost to COVID-19, reports the NLEOMF. Currently there are over 22,000 names on the wall.
The National Police Support Fund is honored to support our friends and fallen heroes during Police Week 2021. Once again, we’ve partnered with FOP Lodge #1 as the host of the Inaugural Police Week Tent City 5k. The 5k will take place on May 16th, 2021. Our contribution will be used to support not only the virtual 5k, but also the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Foundation and the Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) the Fraternal Order of Police, HEROES, Inc, and Running 4 Heroes.