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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Pak and The Department of Justice salute law enforcement officers during Police Week

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Georgia

ATLANTA – In honor of National Police Week, U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak salutes the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement. The week will be observed through Saturday, May 16, 2020.         

“There is no more noble profession than serving as a police officer,” said Attorney General 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.”

“In 2019, the State of Georgia lost seven peace officers, four of whom were from the Northern District of Georgia,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.  “These officers died while serving and protecting their communities.  Along with 744 officers who lost their lives in the line of duty before them, we honor these officers for their service and their sacrifice.  We also thank the families of these officers, and express our deepest sympathies for their loss.” 

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 four officers here in the Northern District of Georgia].

  • Deputy Nicholas Blane Dixon
    Hall County Sheriff’s Office, End of Watch July 8, 2019
  • Deputy Michaela Elizabeth Smith
    Murray County Sheriff’s Office, End of Watch July 3, 2019
  • Deputy Spencer Allen Englett
    Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, End of Watch April 4, 2019
  • Officer James Joseph “JJ” Biello
    Atlanta Police Department, End of Watch April 28, 2019

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 were 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 was livestreamed for the public. To view the online event, please visit

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

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is

Updated May 14, 2020

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