In honor of National Police Week, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson recognize the service, courage and sacrifice made by federal, state, local and Tribal law enforcement. This year, the week is observed Sunday, May 9 through Saturday, May 15, 2021.
“This week is a time to honor our law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland. “I am constantly inspired by the extraordinary courage and dedication with which members of law enforcement act each day, putting their lives on the line to make our communities safer. To members of law enforcement and your families: we know that not a single day, nor a single week, is enough to recognize your service and sacrifice. On behalf of the entire Department of Justice, you have our unwavering support and eternal gratitude.”
“During National Police Week, Americans commemorate the courage, devotion to duty, and extraordinary character that is reflected in the men and women who selflessly serve as law enforcement officers in communities across our nation. We especially honor and remember the peace officers, including eight Oklahomans, who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2020,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “For their service and sacrifice to the cause of justice, I am grateful.”
This year, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund approved the inclusion of 295 names representing those killed in the line of duty in 2020, including Tulsa Police Sergeant Craig Johnson. Of those, 182 died from COVID-19. An additional 99 officers who died in previous years were also added to the memorial. In 2020, Officer Jerad Lindsey of the Tulsa Police Department, Captain Jeffrey Sewell of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Captain Billy Allen Sr. of the U.S. Department of Defense Fort Sill Police Department, and Chief Deputy Sheriff Lindal Hall of the McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office passed away from COVID-19. Oklahoma also lost Tulsa County Corporal John Okafor, Bryan County Deputy Jarid Taylor, and Canadian County Lieutenant Shirley Lanning.
As part of National Police Week, Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson and Law Enforcement Coordinator Chris Witt will attend several memorial ceremonies in northeastern Oklahoma, honoring law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
- Johnson will attend the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office memorial in Chandler Park on May 13. He previously attended the Tulsa Police Department memorial ceremony and was the keynote speaker at the Tulsa Honor Guard’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.
- Witt will represent the U.S. Attorney’s Office at memorial ceremonies throughout the week: Bartlesville Police Department and Washington County Sheriff’s Office - May 12; Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office - May 13; and Creek County Sheriff’s Office -May 13. Witt also attended the Oklahoma Law Enforcement, Oklahoma City Police Department, and Tulsa Police Department memorial ceremonies.
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.
The names of the 394 fallen officers who have been added in 2020 to the wall at the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial will be read on Thursday, May 13, 2021, during a Virtual Candlelight Vigil, which will be livestreamed to the public at 8:00 PM EDT.
Those who wish to view the Virtual Candlelight Vigil on May 13, 2021, can watch on the NLEOMF YouTube channel found at https://www.youtube.com/user/TheNLEOMF.
The Police Week in-person public events, originally scheduled for May, have been rescheduled due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns to October 13-17, 2021. An in-person Candlelight Vigil event is scheduled for October 14, 2021.
To learn more about National Police Week in-person events scheduled for October, please visit www.policeweek.org.