What is national police week?

National Police Week is a way to honor the many individuals who work in law enforcement throughout the U.S.  Police work is an important part of keeping our country safe.  Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect their communities. This is why dedicating a week to them is a wonderful way to honor their profession.

National Police Week began in 1962, when President John F. Kennedy designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day as a way to honor law enforcement officers, particularly those who’d been killed in duty.  The week in which May 15th falls was designated Police Week.

During National Police Week, thousands of law enforcement officers from all over the country gather in our nation’s capitol to participate in a variety of events. Police from all over the world also attend the celebration as a way of showing respect for their fellow law enforcement officers and promoting brotherhood throughout international agencies. This year’s celebration will take place from May 12th to May 16th.


The total number of attendees for events during National Police Week ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 people. Daily receptions are sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police DC Lodge #1 and are open to all branches of law enforcement. 

Some of the events that take place during National Police Week include a candlelight vigil for fallen law enforcement officers; a national police survivors’ conference; an honor guard competition; and receptions for various law enforcement charitable organizations, including Law Enforcement United, Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) and Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP).

Although many law enforcement agencies work to plan and coordinate the events at the Washington, D.C. celebration of National Police Week, the main  organizers are the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), the Fraternal Order of Police/Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary (FOP/FOPA) and the Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.).

Celebrations of National Police Week also take place at the local and state level throughout the U.S.

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