Montgomery, Alabama — In honor of National Police Week, U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin, Sr. joins the Department of Justice and our federal, state, county, local and tribal partners in recognizing the service and sacrifice of the law enforcement community, particularly the law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2019. 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.”
“Law enforcement officers play an essential part in the strength and prosperity of our nation,” stated U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin, Sr. “Each day numerous brave men and women honorably serve their communities on the front lines fighting crime and violence, while placing their own lives at risk. Last year far too many officers were killed while simply doing their jobs, including two right here in the Middle District of Alabama. The memory and legacy of Lowndes County Sheriff ‘Big John’ Williams and Auburn Police Officer William Buechner, Jr. will never be forgotten, and we are forever grateful for their service and the sacrifice of their families. This week marks a time for us to honor those we have lost and thank those that are continuing to serve. I encourage everyone to do just that, not only this week, but each week to come.”
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 seven officers here in Alabama.
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 7:00 pm (CDT). The online event can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/user/TheNLEOMF.