Law enforcement officers, survivors and supporters from across the country gathered in Washington, D.C., to remember the fallen who gave their lives in the line of duty, and to pay respects to the loved ones and family members they left behind during National Police Week ceremonies on May 11–16.
National Police Week occurs every May with live, in-person events. The National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum held ceremonies, including the Candlelight Vigil, to honor fallen officers whose names were recently added to the memorial. National Police Week is a collaborative effort of many organizations dedicated to honoring America’s law enforcement community.
This year, the names of 556 officers — including 224 who were killed during 2022, plus 332 who died in previous years, but whose stories of sacrifice had been lost to history until now — were added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. With those additions, there are now 23,785 names engraved on the memorial. (The full 2023 Roll Call of Heroes list can be found by visiting NLEOMF.org and searching “Roll Call of Heroes.”)
During the 35th annual Candlelight Vigil on May 13, put on by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), the names of these brave heroes were read aloud by high-ranking government officials and law enforcement leaders in front of a crowd of more than 45,000 people on the National Mall.
Earlier in the week, on May 11, the National Police Dog Foundation held its annual National Police K-9 Memorial Service at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, which included a wreath-laying ceremony to honor the memory of police K-9s that gave their lives in the line of duty.
Other notable events held throughout the week included the Police Unity Tour, the four-day, 300-mile bicycle ride from New Jersey to the nation’s capital; the National Police Survivors’ Conference hosted by the Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), which provides support and resources for surviving family members, friends and co-workers of officers who have died in the line of duty; and the 42nd annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, hosted by National Fraternal Order of Police and National Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary, which honors the officers who recently made the ultimate sacrifice and pays tribute to all the fallen and is followed by a wreath-laying ceremony and Stand Watch for the Fallen event at the National Law Enforcement