Skip to main content
Press Release

U.S. Attorney Will Thompson Recognizes National Police Week with Memorial Ceremony and Grant Award Visit

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – In honor of National Police Week, United States Attorney Will Thompson is recognizing the service and sacrifice of federal, state and local law enforcement.

“As our country recognizes National Police Week, the Justice Department joins families and communities in remembering the members of the law enforcement community who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting the public,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland.  “Policing is difficult and dangerous, yet time and time again, law enforcement officers answer the call, showing up for their communities when they are needed the most.  Their devotion to duty is matched only by that of their loved ones who make daily sacrifices to support them.  The Justice Department is committed to doing everything in our power to help provide our law enforcement partners with the resources they need to carry out their noble work on behalf of the public.”

In the Southern District of West Virginia, Thompson participated in a wreath-laying and awards ceremony honoring law enforcement at Parkersburg City Hall on Monday, May 13, 2024. Thompson was also the event’s guest speaker.

“Law enforcement represents the community,” Thompson said. “They’re part of the community. They’re the first call when anyone in the community is in trouble. Their jobs are not easy jobs. The fact that the community came out in such strong numbers today is an incredible display of support.”

On Tuesday, May 14, 2024, Thompson joined with Bluefield Police Chief D. M. Dillow Jr. and other community partners to celebrate a $450,000 U.S. Department of Justice grant awarded to the City of Bluefield. The grant was awarded through DOJ’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and its Building Local Continuums of Care to Support Youth Success initiative. Its funding will help strengthen The Wade Center, Camp Mariposa of Southern West Virginia, and other youth-serving programs to expand after-school, summer learning, and enrichment opportunities for Mercer County young people.

The Bluefield Police Department and the nonprofit Community Connections Inc. are active partners of The Wade Center as it provides educational, mentoring and other services to youth at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system.

“This is an excellent example of how an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” Thompson said. “The benefit to the community is incredible and National Police Week offers a great opportunity to highlight the role of our law enforcement partners in such outreach initiatives.”

This year’s National Police Week is observed from Saturday, May 11 through Friday, May 17, 2024. 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.

The names of 282 officers killed in the line of duty were added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in 2024. On Monday, May 13, 2024, those names were read during the 36th Annual Candlelight Vigil held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The names include that of West Virginia State Police Sgt. Cory Steven Maynard and West Virginia Division of Probation Services Officer Steven Paul Gitlin II.

To view a recording of the livestream of this event, visit

The complete 2024 Roll Call of Heroes is available at

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

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.





Updated May 15, 2024

Community Outreach