PITTSBURGH— In honor of National Police Week, United States Attorney Cindy Chung will recognize the service and sacrifice of federal, state, and local law enforcement.
“The men and women who protect our communities have not just devoted their lives to public service, they’ve taken an oath to give their lives to guarantee our safety,” stated U.S. Attorney Chung. “We here at the USAO could not do our work without the hard work, collaboration, and sharing of information from our Western Pennsylvania law enforcement partners. Our Chiefs, deputies, troopers, and officers not only react to crime but disrupt and de-escalate tense and potentially violent situations. They also engage with their communities to build positive relationships with the citizens they serve.”
U.S. Attorney Chung today visited the Western Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Officer Memorial on Pittsburgh’s North Shore to place a wreath in honor of those who have sacrificed their lives for their communities. She also presented commendations to officers from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and tactical medics involved in de-escalation efforts. On May 19th, U.S. Attorney Chung will visit the Warren County Sheriff’s Department to honor a Deputy Sheriff for de-escalating a standoff stemming from a domestic violence incident. Later that evening, she will attend the Beaver County Police Memorial Ceremony Candlelight Vigil at sundown. On May 20th in the morning, she will recognize four individuals involved in the investigation and prosecution of a Brownsville man for producing and possessing images of his sexual assault of children.
“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 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.
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 were read on Friday, May 13, 2022, during a Candlelight Vigil in Washington, D.C. The schedule of National Police Week events is available on NLEOMF’s website.
 An unprovoked attack is defined as an attack on an officer not prompted by official contact at the time of the incident between the officer and the offender. Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) through the Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program.