Honoring Police Week

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. James Dillard
  • 49th Security Forces Squadron
On Oct. 1, 1962, former President John F. Kennedy signed Public Law 87-726. The passage of this public law identified the calendar week during which May 15 occurs would be known as Police Week.

In the same stroke of the pen, President Kennedy designated May 15 of each year as Peace Officers Memorial Day. This day would honor all of the federal, state and municipal officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty.

In 1994, President William J. Clinton amended the law directing the officials of the government to display at half-staff the flag of the United States on all government buildings on such day.

In honor of these courageous officers, the National Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial was built in Washington, D.C. This wall of honor depicts the names of more than 15,000 law enforcement officers lost since 1794, and ensures their sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Currently, there are more than 740,000 sworn law enforcement officers who are our first responders and play a critical role in our nation's safety. Since May 2010, 161 of our nation's law enforcement officers have given their lives in the line of duty, including Deputy Sheriff Dean Miera of the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office, New Mexico, who was killed in a duty-related traffic accident Oct. 29, 2010.

Additionally, Security Forces lost one of its talented Airmen March 2, 2011. Senior Airman Nicholas Alden, 48th Security Forces Squadron, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, was killed by a gunman at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, while preparing to depart for a deployment.

The job of a police officer is not normally associated with tangible results. Our job does not save millions, build new buildings and it does not make life convenient. Our job is measured by non-events and keeping our Airmen safe.

A great day for us, is one in which we don't have to pull our weapons to protect lives, pull people out of vehicles at accidents or apprehend someone who committed a crime.

On this, the 48th year of Police Officers Memorial Day, take the time to say thank you to a police officer for what they do, and pause a moment for the police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

As always, please be safe and if you are ever in trouble or in of need assistance, call us at 575-572-7171. We'll be there.