You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

U.S. Attorney’s Office Honors Commitment of Law Enforcement During Ceremonies Commemorating National Police Week

Attorney General Sessions, Other Justice Department Officials Pay Tribute to Police Nationwide

            WASHINGTON – U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu is joining Principal Assistant U.S. Attorney Alessio D. Evangelista and other leaders of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia in commemorating National Police Week by attending various events in honor of the sacrifice and contributions made by law enforcement officers here and across the nation.

            The week honors the law enforcement community with special recognition of those who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty. In 1962, Congress created National Police Week and designated May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be among officials attending today's 37th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service at the United States Capitol, one of the largest gatherings of the week.

            On May 13, 2018, U.S. Attorney Liu attended the 30th Annual Candlelight Vigil on the National Mall, in honor of fallen officers. Attorney General Sessions spoke at the event. Earlier, she attended a memorial service on May 8, 2018, at the U.S. Capitol honoring four United States Capitol Police officers who have died over the years in the line of duty. This year’s ceremony was especially poignant, with speakers recalling the heroism of Officer Jacob J. Chestnut and Detective John M. Gibson, who died 20 years ago while protecting the U.S. Capitol from a gunman’s attack. U.S. Attorney Liu and Principal Assistant U.S. Attorney Evangelista also attended the 24th Annual Blue Mass on May 1, 2018 at Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church.

            “National Police Week is a time to reflect on the courage and commitment shown by law enforcement officers here in the District of Columbia and across the nation,” said U.S. Attorney Liu. “The citizens of the District of Columbia are especially fortunate to be kept safe by thousands of dedicated men and women from a wide array of federal and District of Columbia law enforcement agencies. Their devotion to duty comes at great risk and sacrifice. The ceremonies this week give all of us an opportunity to remember those who died serving their communities and a chance to thank those who work around the clock to protect us. ”

            This year, National Police Week is observed from Sunday, May 13 to Saturday, May 19, 2018.

            “One officer death is too many,” Attorney General Sessions said.  “While we are inexpressibly grateful to have had a decrease in the number of officers killed in the line-of-duty last year, the number is still far too high.  At the Department of Justice, we honor the memories of the fallen and we pray for their families.  We are also following President Trump's Executive Orders to back the women and men in blue, to enhance law enforcement safety, and to reduce violent crime in America. Those priorities will help keep every American safe, including those who risk their lives for us.  As always, we have their backs and they have our thanks.”

            According to statistics collected by the FBI, 93 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2017 – a 21 percent decrease from 2016 when 118 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents.

            Additionally, in 2017 there were 46 law enforcement officers killed in line-of-duty incidents as a result of felonious acts – this is a 30 percent decrease from 2016, when 66 law enforcement officer were killed in line-of-duty incidents as a result of felonious acts.

            For the full comprehensive data tables about these incidents and brief narratives describing the fatal attacks and selected assaults resulting in injury, please see the newly released 2017 edition of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted. To access the FBI's 2017 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report, please visit www.fbi.gov.

            The names of all 93 fallen officers nationwide were formally dedicated on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, during the 30th Annual Candlelight Vigil on the evening of May 13, 2018.

            For more information about other National Police Week events, please visit www.policeweek.org.

Press Release Number: 
18-115
Updated May 15, 2018