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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town Recognizes Police Week

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama
Virtual Candlelight Vigil Scheduled for May 13 at 7:00 p.m. (CDT)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — In honor of National Police Week, U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town will recognize the service and sacrifice of federal, state, and local, 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 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.”

        “During this unprecedented time, it is especially important that we recognize our men and women of the badge for the sacrifices they make each day.  They have continued to put the safety of the citizens of Northern Alabama at the forefront and are the very best among us,” Town said.   “It’s noble work   It’s tough work.  They have to be at their best, especially when the worst among us are at their worst. We must never forget that the line of duty is endowed by sacrifice, selflessness, and courage.  It’s Police Week.  Back the Blue!”

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 Officer Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program, 89 law enforcement officers died nationwide in the line of duty in 2019, including 3 officers here in the Northern District of Alabama.  

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 first officer fatality this year from the State of Alabama involved an officer in the Northern District of Alabama who was fatally shot while on duty.  Kimberly Police Department Officer Nick O’Rear’s end of watch was on February 5, 2020.

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).  The online event can be viewed at

To learn more about National Police Week, please visit:

To register for the virtual candlelight vigil, please visit:

Department of Justice public service announcement:  Honoring the Sacrifices of Law Enforcement during Police Week 2020 –

Updated May 11, 2020

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