Shawnee officers celebrate National Police Week

Elisabeth Slay

During National Police Week Sunday, May 10 to Saturday, May 16, the Shawnee Police Department honors officers who've died protecting their community and those who continue to serve and protect.

According to Police Chief Mason Wilson, this week is a time to reflect and show gratitude to those who serve and their families.

"This week we honor those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. This is also a week to honor the brave men and women still working to protect and serve our communities," Wilson said. "We should also thank the families of law enforcement officers this week. Our families make many sacrifices to allow us to serve our community. I am very proud of our Shawnee Police officers and the other law enforcement agencies in our area."

According to Cpl. Vivian Lozano, the history of National Police Week is as follows:

In 1962, 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.

In past years, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement.

Decades later, the event, more commonly known as National Police Week, has grown to a series of events which attracts thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to the Nation's Capital each year.

Lozano said due to the pandemic there will be no public gatherings this year but all across the United States officers are being honored and remembered.