United States Attorney Will Thompson Recognizes Police Week 2022
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia
Name of Raleigh County Officer Added to National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial in Washington, D.C.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – In honor of National Police Week, United States Attorney Will Thompson will recognize the service and sacrifice of federal, state, and local law enforcement. This year, the week is observed Wednesday, May 11 through Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
“This week, we gather to pay tribute to the law enforcement officers who sacrificed their lives in service to our country,” said Attorney General Garland. “We remember the courage with which they worked and lived. And we recommit ourselves to the mission to which they dedicated their lives. On behalf of a grateful Justice Department and a grateful nation, I extend my sincerest thanks and gratitude to the entire law enforcement community.”
In conjunction with National Police Week, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia will hold its annual Law Enforcement Awards Ceremony on Friday, May 20, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. at the Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse in Charleston. This annual event recognizes the exemplary work of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers alongside whom the United States Attorney’s Office stands as a proud partner.
“Our law enforcement officers need our support each and every day, and National Police Week allows us to show our appreciation for their service and sacrifice,” Thompson said. “We offer homage to those officers who have given their lives to keep our communities safe. Paying that ultimate price has earned our eternal gratitude.”
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. Based on data submitted to and analyzed by the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), 472 law enforcement officers died nationwide in the line of duty in 2021. Of that number, 319 succumbed to COVID-19.
The Southern District of West Virginia did not record any line of duty deaths among law enforcement in 2021. But the names added to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial in 2022 include 147 officers who died in years prior to 2021. Among those names is that of George William Spangler of the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office, whose watch ended on Feb. 19, 1927.
Additionally, according to 2021 statistics reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) through the Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program, 73 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2021 were killed as a result of felonious acts, whereas 56 died in accidents. Deaths resulting from felonious acts increased in 2021, rising more than 58 percent from the previous year. In 2021, unprovoked attacks were the cause of 24 deaths significantly outpacing all other line of duty deaths resulting from felony acts and reaching the highest annual total in over 30 years of reporting. Additional LEOKA statistics can be found on FBI’s Crime Data Explorer website for the LEOKA program.
The names of the 619 fallen officers added this year to the wall at the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial will be read on Friday, May 13, 2022, during a Candlelight Vigil in Washington, D.C., starting at 8:00 PM EDT. Those who wish to view the vigil live online, can watch on the NLEOMF YouTube channel found at https://www.youtube.com/TheNLEOMF. The schedule of National Police Week events is available on NLEOMF’s website.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Reference to any specific organization or service(s) offered by an organization is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Department of Justice.
Updated May 11, 2022