In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a Proclamation which designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Police Week recognizes the service and sacrifice of U.S. law enforcement officers and pays special recognition to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.
This year, the names of 273 officers killed in the line of duty were added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. These 273 officers include 117 officers who were killed during 2014, plus 156 officers who died in previous years but whose stories of sacrifice had been lost to history until now.
The fallen officers include Deputy U.S. Marshal Josie Wells. DUSM Wells was shot and killed while in Baton Rouge attempting to arrest a fugitive for a double homicide as well as police officers Liquori Tate and Benjamin Deen who were killed in the line of duty in nearby Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
All fallen law enforcement officers were remembered during the following local Police Week services:
• Louisiana State Police Headquarters in Baton Rouge on Thursday, May 14, at 6:00 p.m.;
• Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, APSP Training Center on St. Landry Road, on Friday, May 15, at 10:00 a.m.
• Baton Rouge Police Department and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, Behind Baton Rouge City Hall near Statutes, on Friday, May 15, at 10:00 a.m.
U.S. Attorney Walt Green stated: “This week is a sober reminder of the very real dangers that our brave men and women in law enforcement face every single day. Their dedication to protecting our communities and families despite such dangers is inspiring and humbling. We must never forget their sacrifices and those of their families. I encourage all of us to show our appreciation to those who protect and serve during the events of this week and beyond.”