GREENSBORO — In honor of National Police Week, United States Attorney Sandra J. Hairston will recognize the service and sacrifice of federal, state, and local law enforcement. This year, the week is officially observed Wednesday, May 11 through Tuesday, May 17, 2022, and events are planned in the district from May 10 to May 19.
“This week, we gather to pay tribute to the law enforcement officers who sacrificed their lives in service to our country,” said Attorney General (Merrick) Garland. “We remember the courage with which they worked and lived. And we recommit ourselves to the mission to which they dedicated their lives. On behalf of a grateful Justice Department and a grateful nation, I extend my sincerest thanks and gratitude to the entire law enforcement community.”
“The law enforcement partners we have on the local, state, and federal levels in the Middle District of North Carolina are among the best in the nation,” said U.S. Attorney Sandra Hairston. “Every day, these men and women serve their communities with the utmost dignity and respect, often putting themselves in harm’s way for public safety. We thank them for their service this week and honor those who lost their lives in the line of duty while protecting others.”
In 1962, President Kennedy issued the first proclamation for Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week to remember and honor law enforcement officers for their service and sacrifices. Peace Officers Memorial Day, which every year falls on May 15, specifically honors law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty. Based on data submitted to and analyzed by the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund, 472 law enforcement officers died nationwide in the line of duty in 2021. Of that number, 319 succumbed to COVID-19. Five officers died in 2021 from injuries sustained in the line of duty in the Middle District of North Carolina.
Additionally, according to 2021 statistics reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation through the Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted Program, 73 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2021 were killed as a result of felonious acts, whereas 56 died in accidents. Deaths resulting from felonious acts increased in 2021, rising more than 58 percent from the previous year. In 2021, unprovoked attacks were the cause of 24 deaths significantly outpacing all other line of duty deaths resulting from felony acts and reaching the highest annual total in over 30 years of reporting. Additional LEOKA statistics can be found on FBI’s Crime Data Explorer website for the LEOKA program.
The names of the 619 fallen officers added this year to the wall at the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial were read on Friday, May 13, 2022, during a Candlelight Vigil in Washington, D.C. Those who wish to view the vigil online, can watch on the NLEOMF YouTube channel found at https://www.youtube.com/TheNLEOMF. The schedule of National Police Week events is available on NLEOMF’s website.