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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 10, 2018

The U.S. Attorney’s Office For The Middle District Of Pennsylvania Honors And Remembers Fallen Law Enforcement Officers In Observance Of 2018 “National Police Week”

HARRISBURG - Communities across the United States gather during National Police Week, which is observed from Sunday, May 13 to Saturday, May 19, 2018, to remember federal, state, and local law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty to share their stories of courage and sacrifice and to honor their memory.

“One officer death is too many,” Attorney General Jeff 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.”

“The citizens of this District were reminded in stark terms on January 18, 2018 of the sacrifices that law enforcement officers and their families make to protect us every day,” said United States Attorney David J. Freed.  “The tragic and heroic death of Deputy United States Marshal Christopher Hill once again highlighted the potential dangers faced by men and women in law enforcement each time they take to the streets.  We seek to honor the memory of USDM Hill and others lost in the line of duty through our constant efforts to reduce violence in our communities.”

During National Police Week and in honor of fallen officers, two Middle District of Pennsylvania Assistant United States Attorneys are participating in the Police Unity Tour to help raise awareness of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. 

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.

In October 1962, Congress passed and President Kennedy signed a joint resolution declaring May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty.  The resolution also created National Police Week as an annual tribute to law enforcement service and sacrifice.  

The names of all 93 fallen officers nationwide will be 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.  So that people across the country can experience this unique and powerful ceremony, the vigil will be livestreamed beginning at 8:00 p.m. EDT on May 13th. To register for this free online event, visit www.LawMemorial.org/webcast.

Among those added this year from Pennsylvania will be:

  • Brian Shaw, New Kensington Police Department, who died in November 2017;
  • Michael Stewart, III, Pennsylvania State Police, who died in July 2017;
  • Shawn Rager, Johnstown Police Department, who died in October 2016;
  • David Weaver, State Correctional Institute Graterford, who died in September 2016; and
  • Raymond Diaz, Jr., Philadelphia Police Department, who died in September 2016.

Along with remembering the officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, Police Week is an opportunity to recognize and honor all law enforcement officers in our communities, who courageously stand on the front lines each day for the safety and protection of others.

The Candlelight Vigil is one of many commemorative events taking place in the nation’s capital during National Police Week 2018.

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

To access the FBI's 2017 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report, please visit www.fbi.gov.

 

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Updated May 10, 2018