U.S.Attorney Weinhoeft Recognizes National Police Week | USAO-SDIL


Fairview Heights, Ill. – U.S. Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft of the Southern District of Illinois 
joins today with federal officials across the Department of Justice in observance of National 
Police Week. During this week – May 10 through May 16 – we pay special honor to the service and 
sacrifice of our nation’s federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement. Due to the ongoing 
pandemic, all Police Week events will be virtual this year, but our respect and heartfelt gratitude 
remain as strong as ever.

“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.”

U.S. Attorney Weinhoeft said, “Law enforcement officers are ‘the thin blue line’ that maintains 
order and protects us from chaos. Police work has always involved risk; but we are living through a 
moment in history when danger hides in the most routine activities. While most Americans are 
sheltering in place, we have witnessed men and women in essential positions heroically serving the 
people of this nation in spite of the danger. As they continue to merit our praise and sincerest 
gratitude, we pause this week to show our respect to all the law enforcement officers who daily 
make this brave act of sacrifice, putting our collective safety ahead of their own. I am especially 
proud of the dedicated officers who serve and protect the Southern District of Illinois and who 
have continued to work, without fanfare, in the midst of this pandemic.”

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. 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. Peace Officers Memorial Day, observed every year on May 15, specifically honors law

enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty. 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 Illinois State Trooper Nicholas 
Hopkins here in the Southern District of Illinois. In the early morning hours of August 23, 2019, 
Trooper Hopkins, 33, was shot and killed while attempting to execute a search warrant at a 
residence in East St. Louis. A 10-year veteran of law enforcement, Trooper Hopkins was a member of 
the Illinois State Police SWAT team – a group of dedicated professionals routinely tasked with some 
of the most dangerous assignments. His tragic death was deeply felt across the district and still 
weighs heavily on the hearts of all who knew him.

Comprehensive data tables and brief narratives describing the other fatal attacks on law 
enforcement officers are available at https://ucr.fbi.gov/leoka/2019/home. According to FBI data, 
there were an additional 41 officers nationwide who were killed accidentally last year while on 
duty. Trooper Hopkins’ name, along with the names of the other fallen officers, has been added to 
the wall at the National Law Enforcement Memorial and will be read aloud on Wednesday, May 13, 
2020, during a 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. To register to view this free online event, please 
www.LawMemorial.org/webcast.  To  learn  more  about  National Police  Week  and  the virtual
candlelight vigil, please visit www.policeweek.org.
 



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