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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Tennessee

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

U.S. Attorney Overbey Recognizes Law Enforcement Service And Sacrifice During National Police Week

Knoxville, Tenn. - In honor of National Police Week, U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey will recognize the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement.  The week will be observed Sunday, May 10 through Saturday, May 16, 2020.

“There is no more noble profession than serving as a police officer,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.  “The men and women who protect our communities each day have not just devoted their lives to public service, they’ve taken an oath to give their lives to ensure our safety.  And they do so not only in the face of hostility from those who reject our nation’s commitment to the rule of law, but also in the face of evolving adversity – such as an unprecedented global health pandemic.  This week, I ask all Americans to join me in saying ‘thank you’ to our nation’s federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers.  Their devotion and sacrifice to our peace and security will not be taken for granted.”

“I am constantly amazed by the hard-working men and women who put on the uniform each day, choosing to risk their lives to serve their communities.  These men and women put their lives on the line in situations none of us can fully comprehend or appreciate, all in the pursuit of justice and the protection of the law-abiding public.  These men and woman on the front lines don’t back down, even in the face of unprecedented situations like the COVID-19 pandemic.  I want to personally thank each and every individual who strives to make our community safe with their continued support,” said U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey.

In 1962, President Kennedy issued the first proclamation for Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week to remember and honor law enforcement officers for their service and sacrifices.  Peace Officers Memorial Day, which every year falls on May 15, specifically honors law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty.  

Each year, during National Police Week, our nation celebrates the contributions of law enforcement from around the country, recognizing their hard work, dedication, loyalty and commitment to keeping our communities safe.  This year the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored law enforcement officers’ courage and unwavering devotion to the communities they swore to serve.

Based on data collected and analyzed by the FBI’s Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program, 89 law enforcement officers died nationwide in the line of duty in 2019, and four officers from the Eastern District of Tennessee.

Comprehensive data tables about these incidents and brief narratives describing most of the fatal attacks are included in the sections of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2019.

The names of the fallen officers who have been added in 2020 to the wall at the National Law Enforcement Memorial will be read on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, during a Virtual Annual Candlelight Vigil.  Because public events have been suspended as a result of COVID-19, the vigil will be livestreamed to the public at 8:00 pm (EDT).  To register to view this free online event, please

To learn more about National Police Week and the virtual candlelight vigil, please visit

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Community Outreach
Rachelle Barnes Public Information Officer (865) 545-4167
Updated May 12, 2020