Seattle— In honor of National Police Week, U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran is recognizing the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement. The week will be observed Sunday, May 10 through Saturday, May 16, 2020.
“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.”
“During these turbulent times, I hope we will all pause and reflect for a moment on the dedication and sacrifice of our law enforcement officers who risk danger every day – not just from bad actors, but now from an invisible virus,” said U.S. Attorney Moran. “In 2019, four Washington State law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty: Kittitas County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Shane Thompson; Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Deputy Justin Richard DeRosier; Lynden Police Chief Michael Knapp, and Pierce County Deputy Sheriff Cooper Andrew Dyson. We remember them and their families who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep the rest of us safe.”
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. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored law enforcement officers’ courage and unwavering devotion to the communities they swore to serve.
Based on data collected and analyzed by the FBI’s Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program, 89 law enforcement officers died nationwide in the line of duty in 2019, including the 4 (for consistency with the use of numerals “89”) officers here in Washington State.
Deputy Ryan Shane Thompson (Kittitas County) was killed in a shootout on March 19, 2019. Deputy Justin Richard DeRosier (Cowlitz County) was shot and killed April 14, 2019; Lynden Police Chief Michael Knapp was struck and killed by a car on November 16, 2019, while crossing the street heading to a City Council meeting. Deputy Cooper Andrew Dyson (Pierce County) was killed in a car accident December 21, 2019, while answering an emergency call.
Comprehensive data tables about these incidents and brief narratives describing most of the fatal attacks are included in the sections of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2019.
The names of the fallen officers who have been added in 2020 to the wall at the National Law Enforcement Memorial will be read on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, during a Virtual Annual Candlelight Vigil. Because public events have been suspended as a result of COVID-19, the vigil will be livestreamed to the public at 8 p.m. (EDT). To register to view this free online event, please visit www.LawMemorial.org/webcast.
To learn more about National Police Week and the virtual candlelight vigil, please visit www.policeweek.org.