PORTLAND, Ore.— In honor of National Police Week, U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug recognizes the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement. This year’s commemoration is observed Wednesday, May 11 through Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
“This week, we gather to pay tribute to the law enforcement officers who sacrificed their lives in service to our country,” said Attorney General Garland. “We remember the courage with which they worked and lived. And we recommit ourselves to the mission to which they dedicated their lives. On behalf of a grateful Justice Department and a grateful nation, I extend my sincerest thanks and gratitude to the entire law enforcement community.”
“All of us at the U.S. Attorney’s Office are inspired everyday by the extraordinary courage and dedication of our law enforcement partners who repeatedly put their lives on the line to protect our communities. National Police Week is a longstanding tradition that affords all of us an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of law enforcement and honor those officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country. We offer our deepest gratitude and sincere thanks to everyone in law enforcement as well as their families and loved ones,” said U.S. Attorney Asphaug.
In 1962, President Kennedy issued the first proclamation for Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week to remember and honor law enforcement officers for their service and sacrifices. Peace Officers Memorial Day, celebrated every year on May 15, honors law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty. Based on data submitted to and analyzed by the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), 472 law enforcement officers died nationwide in the line of duty in 2021. Of that number, 319 succumbed to COVID-19.
According to 2021 statistics reported by the FBI through the Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program, 73 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty by felonious acts and 56 died in accidents. Deaths resulting from felonious acts increased by more than 58 percent in 2021. Additionally, in 2021, unprovoked attacks were the cause of 24 deaths, outpacing all other line of duty deaths resulting from felony acts and marking the highest annual total in over 30 years of reporting. LEOKA statistics can be found on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer website.
The names of the 619 fallen officers added this year to the wall at the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial will be read on Friday, May 13, 2022, during a Candlelight Vigil in Washington, D.C., starting at 5:00 PM PDT. The vigil can be streamed live online on the NLEOMF YouTube channel. A full schedule of National Police Week events is available on NLEOMF’s website.