ALEXANDRIA, VA. – In honor of National Police Week, Acting U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh, along with Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, recognize the service and victim of law enforcement on the federal, state, local and tribal basis. This year the week will be celebrated from Sunday, May 9th to Saturday, May 15th, 2021.
“This week is a time to honor our law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our nation,” said Attorney General Garland. “I am constantly inspired by the extraordinary courage and dedication with which law enforcement officers act every day and risk their lives to make our communities safer. To law enforcement agencies and your families, we know that neither a single day nor a single week is enough to recognize your service and your victim. On behalf of the entire Department of Justice, you have our unwavering support and eternal gratitude. “
“The Eastern District of Virginia expresses its deep appreciation for the brave law enforcement women and men who serve on the front lines and put themselves at risk to protect us and our loved ones and repeatedly sacrifice their safety to keep ours up.” said Acting US attorney Parekh. “The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted pain, heartache and tragedy on so many people, including law enforcement officials and their families. We mourn and respect those who lost their lives in service, offer our condolences to their families, and thank those who carry on their legacy with honor and valor every day. “
In 1962, President Kennedy issued the first proclamation on Peace Officers’ Remembrance Day and National Police Week to remember and honor police officers for their service and sacrifice. Peace Officers Memorial Day, which falls on May 15 each year, honors law enforcement officers who have been killed or disabled while on duty.
Every year during National Police Week, our nation celebrates the contributions of law enforcement agencies from across the country and recognizes their hard work, dedication, loyalty, and commitment to the safety of our communities. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the courage and unwavering dedication law enforcement officials have to the communities they have sworn to serve.
More than 300 officers are honored during the Heroes’ Appeal, a ceremony coordinated by the Brotherhood of Police (FOP). Based on data submitted and analyzed by the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), nearly 60 percent of law enforcement officers who died on duty nationwide in 2020 succumbed to COVID-19. Here in the Eastern District of Virginia, four police officers died on duty and were included in the Appeal of Heroes of 2021: Policewoman Katherine Mary Thyne of the Newport News Police Department, Armorer Oscar J. Temores of the US Navy Security Forces, Major Angelanette Moore from Virginia Peninsula Regional Prison; and Chief Prison Officer Robert Charles Sunukjian of Hampton Roads Regional Prison.
According to statistics reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) under the Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) program, 46 law enforcement officers died as a result of crime and 47 died in accidents in 2020. LEOKA statistics can be found on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer website.
The names of the 394 fallen officers posted on the wall at the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial in 2020 will be read during a virtual candlelight vigil that will be broadcast live to the public at 8 a.m. on Thursday, May 13, 2021 : 00 p.m. EDT. Police Week in-person public events, originally scheduled for May, have been postponed to October 13-17, 2021 due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19. A personal event at the candlelight vigil is planned for October 14, 2021.
Those who would like to see the virtual candlelight vigil on May 13, 2021 can watch it on the NLEOMF YouTube channel. The appeal of the heroes of the FOP can be viewed at www.fop.net. To view the schedule for Police Week virtual events in May, please see NLEOMF’s Police Week flyer.
To learn more about National Police Week in-person events scheduled for October, please visit www.policeweek.org.
A copy of this news release is available on the US Attorney’s website for the Eastern District of Virginia.