Honoring 619 American Law Enforcement Heroes
Do the names Shane Henry Bartek, Donald Raymond Gilreath III, Jason Scott Lagore, and Brandon Michael Stalker sound familiar to you? They are Police Officers from Cleveland, Ohio, Hamilton County, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and Toledo, Ohio. Furthermore, each one of these public servants had an end of watch in 2021. With 615 (link to the Roll Call of Heroes) other American Law Enforcement Officers, they were killed in the line of duty.
1800 – 2021
In 2022, the names of 619 officers killed in the line of duty were added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. These 619 officers include 472 officers who were killed during 2021 (319 fatalities were COVID-19-related). An additional 147 officers died in previous years (before 2021). Many of their stories of sacrifice had been lost to history until now.
What is National Police Week?
National Police Week occurs every May, and in 2022 we will be commemorating it with live, in-person events. National Police Week will be observed from May 11–17. The National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum will hold ceremonies, including the 34th Annual Candlelight Vigil, to honor the fallen officers whose names have recently been added to the Memorial. The 34th Annual Candlelight Vigil will be held on Friday, May 13.
In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. National Police Week is a collaborative effort of many organizations dedicated to honoring America’s law enforcement community.