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Justice News

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

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

U.S. Attorney Lelling Honors Massachusetts Law Enforcement During National Police Week

BOSTON – United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling joins the Department of Justice in recognizing the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement during National Police Week, which is 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 in order 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.”

“It is an all too infrequent occasion that we thank those who keep our communities safe,” said U.S. Attorney Lelling. “To the law enforcement officers in this Commonwealth – today and every day – you have my deepest regard and admiration. The U.S. Attorney’s Office supports you and has the greatest appreciation for your dedication to protecting public safety, which, in the midst of a national pandemic, comes with even greater risks and challenges. Nonetheless, you honor the oath to protect and serve, and for that, the Commonwealth is a safer place.”  

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.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts will mark National Police Week by honoring more than 130 federal, state and local law enforcement personnel who contributed to the success of federal cases during the 2019 calendar year. Each year the U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts holds a formal ceremony during National Police Week to honor award recipients, however due to ongoing pandemic, this year’s event has been postponed.

Based on data collected and analyzed by the FBI’s Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program, 89 law enforcement officers died nationwide in the line of duty in 2019. The names of the fallen officers who have been added 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), and can be viewed at

Updated May 12, 2020