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Press Release

Justice Department Leadership Honors Service and Sacrifice of Nation’s Law Enforcement for Police Week

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

In recognition of National Police Week, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco, and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta joined law enforcement partners to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to our nation.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week is a collaborative effort of many organizations dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement community. This year, memorial events ran May 9 - 20.

Today, Attorney General Garland delivered remarks at the 2021-2022 Medal of Valor ceremony hosted by President Joseph R. Biden Jr., at the White House. The Medal of Valor is awarded to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect others from harm. The Deputy and Associate Attorneys General also attended the ceremony.  

In his remarks, Attorney General Garland said, “Every day, in communities across the country, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency services officers are asked to respond to our most difficult moments. And every day, without hesitation, you answer that call. You are on the frontlines of our nation’s most pressing public safety challenges. And you are the Justice Department’s indispensable partners in our shared work to keep communities safe. From the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of the entire Justice Department – thank you.”

Earlier this week, Attorney General Garland delivered the keynote address at the Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, sponsored by the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police and the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary, on the west front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., honoring the officers who recently made the ultimate sacrifice and paying tribute to all the fallen. Deputy Attorney General Monaco and Associate Attorney General Gupta attended the service.

Last week, Attorney General Garland, Deputy Attorney General Monaco, and Associate Attorney General Gupta visited the National Law Enforcement Memorial and laid a wreath in honor of the men and women who have died in the line of duty. To recognize not only Justice Department employees who died in the line of duty but also their surviving family members and friends, Attorney General Garland and Deputy Attorney General Monaco attended memorial services for the Justice Department’s four law enforcement components: the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Deputy Attorney General Monaco also delivered remarks at a memorial service to honor fallen federal correctional officers from the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), during National Correctional Officers Week, which ran May 7 - May 13.

The Department’s leadership also convened a gathering of 10 law enforcement associations with whom they regularly meet, the four heads of the Justice Department’s law enforcement components, and representatives from other federal agencies to discuss the implementation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, recruitment and retention of law enforcement, improving access to behavioral health services, and responding to people in crisis. Joined virtually by Secretary of Education Miguel A. Cardona and in-person by the Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Andrea Palm, the discussion focused on whole of government approach federal agencies are taking to combat gun violence and violent crime.

Over the weekend, Attorney General Garland attended the annual candlelight vigil honoring the officers who lost their lives in 2022. Attorney General Garland and other high-ranking government officials, along with officials from local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, read the names of the fallen.

According to the FBI’s recent release of statistics, 118 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2022. So far in 2023, 22 law enforcement officers have lost their lives in the line of duty.

A full list of the events attended on behalf of the Department include:

  • National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Wreath Laying

  • FBI Memorial Service

  • ATF Memorial Service

  • DEA Memorial Service

  • USMS Memorial Service

  • BOP Memorial Service

  • Law Enforcement Quarterly Meeting and Reception with partners

  • National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund 35th Annual Candlelight Vigil

  • National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service

  • Medal of Valor Awards Ceremony

Updated May 17, 2023

Press Release Number: 23-572