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Press Release

U.S. Attorney John Lausch Recognizes the Contributions of Law Enforcement During National Police Week

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

CHICAGO – In honor of National Police Week, U.S. Attorney John Lausch recognized the service of federal, state, and local law enforcement, especially those officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

“National Police Week presents a special opportunity to acknowledge the courageous work of law enforcement officers,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch.  “All of us at the U.S. Attorney’s Office consider it a privilege to work with brave officers who serve our communities with honor and integrity.  To them, I say thank you for your valor and your commitment to justice.”

“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.”

While most National Police Week events this year have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund will host a virtual Candlelight Vigil tonight at 7:00 p.m. central time.  During the vigil, the names of fallen officers who are being added to the wall of the National Law Enforcement Memorial will be read aloud.  The vigil can be viewed live on YouTube by clicking here.

Unfortunately, 89 law enforcement officers died nationwide in the line of duty in 2019, according to the FBI’s Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted Program.  Five of those officers served in Illinois:

  • Gerald Ellis, Illinois State Police
  • Nicholas Hopkins, Illinois State Police
  • Brooke Jones-Story, Illinois State Police
  • Christopher Lambert, Illinois State Police
  • Jacob Keltner, McHenry County Sheriff’s Office

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored law enforcement officers’ courage and unwavering service to the communities they swore to serve.  According to the Fraternal Order of Police and media reports, 101 law enforcement officers have died as a result of duty-related complications from the virus.

“There is no higher calling than to be willing to die for the safety of others,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch.  “We pay a special tribute to those officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.  We will never forget their courage and their sacrifice.”

Updated May 13, 2020

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