Shawnee Police Department honors officers, families during National Police Week

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star
Police

This week, as National Police Week continues through Saturday, the Shawnee Police Department is honoring officers who have died protecting their community — as well as those who continue to serve and protect.

This week is a time to reflect and show gratitude,

“I am very proud of our Shawnee Police officers and the other law enforcement agencies in our area," Shawnee Police Chief Mason Wilson said.

"We honor those who have lost their lives in the line of duty,” he said. “This is also a week to honor the brave men and women still working to protect and serve our communities."

Wilson said law enforcement officers' families should be included in that honor.

“Our families make many sacrifices to allow us to serve our community,” he said.

What is National Police Week?

According to the National Police Week website, at policeweek.org, in 1962 then-President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and that week as Police Week.

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

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

National Police Week has since grown into a series of events attracting thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to the nation's Capitol each year.

“National Police Week draws in between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees,” the website states. “The attendees come from departments throughout the United States as well as from agencies throughout the world.”

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund website, at nleomf.org, this year's National Police Week will be held through virtual events. The 33rd Annual Candlelight Vigil, will be a virtual program, which begins at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Visit nleomf.org to register.

In-person events are set for Oct. 13-17 in Washington, D.C.

The in-person National Police Weekend in October will offer the same honor, remembrance, and peer support as National Police Week, while allowing law enforcement, survivors, and citizens to gather and pay homage to those who gave their lives in the line of duty, the website states.

For story ideas, questions or concerns, reporter Vicky O. Misa can be reached at vicky.misa@news-star.com.