In 1962 President Kennedy declared May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week that surrounds this day as National Police week. During this week we celebrate the contributions of law enforcement from around the country, but this year is unlike any other.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored law enforcement officers’ courage and unwavering devotion to the communities they swore to serve and protect and put a new focus on one of the most dangerous aspects of their job, responding to domestic violence calls.
At OVW, we are proud to support law enforcement specific trainings on responding to domestic violence to assist in reducing the risks that officers encounter when they face the dangers associated with domestic violence.
With our communities sheltered in place during the COVID-19 outbreak, survivors are often forced to reside with their abusers, domestic violence has substantially increased, significantly elevating the threat our law enforcement partners face as they continue to respond to violent situations during the pandemic. Despite the danger, law enforcement officers respond with compassion, professionalism and dedication.
In 2019, 89 law enforcement officers were killed nationwide in line-of-duty as reported by the FBI’s Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program.
This week, the names of all fallen officers killed during the previous year, whose names have been added to the wall at the National Law Enforcement Memorial were read during a Virtual Annual Candlelight Vigil. It is with a deep sense of respect and gratitude that we honor these fallen heroes, this week and every day.
We are grateful for the selfless way that law enforcement officers respond to help victims. Our law enforcement professionals are often the first responders to bring assistance following sexual violence.
I am impressed with the officers who approach these situations with training to lessen the victim’s trauma.
This week and always all of us at OVW stand with our law enforcement partners and today our thoughts and prayers go to the families of the fallen.