Op-Ed: National Police Week and National Peace Officers Memorial Day

Monday, May 13, 2019

Lake Forest Park Police Department

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.

There are more than 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers now serving in the United States, which is the highest figure ever. Over the decades, crime fighting has taken its toll. Since the first recorded police death in 1786, there have been over 21,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

Currently, there are 21,910 names engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial in Washington, DC. 
292 of those were officers working in the State of Washington. 
A total of 1,582 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 55 hours.

There were 158 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2018.

This includes Kent Police Officer Diego Moreno who was killed during a pursuit on July 22, 2018. He was 35 and had been with the Kent PD for eight years.

So far in 2019, 38 officers have died on duty. This includes Kittitas County Deputy Sheriff Ryan Shane Thompson who was shot and killed on March 19 when a pursuit ended in the city of Kittitas. Deputy Thompson was 42 years old and had been in policing for almost 15 years.

Also killed this year was Cowlitz County Deputy Sheriff Justin Richard DeRosier. He was only 29 years old when he was shot and killed on April 14 while responding to investigate reports of a disabled motorhome. Justin had been in policing for six years. All three of these officers left behind a wife and children.

While not a perfect profession, the overwhelming number of men and women serving as law enforcement officers are incredibly honorable and committed to a noble calling of serving and protecting others.

The Lake Forest Park Police Department is made up of these same kinds of men and women. They are the kind of people who will protect the rights of everyone and risk their lives to protect strangers.

Some of them are your friends and all of them are your colleagues. Some of them have served in Lake Forest Park for decades, and others have joined our ranks within the last few years. 
So, if you see a new face wearing one of our uniforms, I encourage you to go up to the officer and introduce yourself, you will quickly recognize the kind and caring heart of a community guardian.

So on Wednesday, May 15, please take a moment to remember the men and women who have been lost while serving their community.

Remember their families and loved ones who have carried on after their sacrifice. Please reach out to the officers who serve in the town in which you live and let them know how much you appreciate the very difficult work they do. I promise you that every one of them will appreciate your messages of support and thanks.

Captain Paul Armbrust
Lake Forest Park Police Department


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