FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. – U.S. Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft joined today with federal officials
across the Department of Justice to recognize the service and sacrifice of all federal, state,
local, and Tribal law enforcement officers, in honor of National Police Week.
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 highlighted the courage of our
law enforcement officers and the devotion to the communities they have sworn to serve.
“This week is a time to honor our law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in
service to our nation,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland. “I am constantly inspired by the
extraordinary courage and dedication with which members of law enforcement act each day, putting
their lives on the line to make our communities safer. To members of law enforcement and your
families: we know that not a single day, nor a single week, is enough to recognize your service and
sacrifice. On behalf of the entire Department of Justice, you have our unwavering support and
“Protecting and serving our communities has never been more difficult, more demanding, or more
dangerous than it is today,” said U.S. Attorney Weinhoeft. “In the past year, we have seen so many
brave and selfless officers put themselves in harm’s way to ensure the safety of others. We know
most stories of police heroism go untold. This week is a great opportunity to say thank you to the
unsung heroes of our 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. This year, the week falls from Sunday, May 9, through Saturday, May 15, 2021. Peace
Officers Memorial Day is always observed on May 15 and specifically honors law enforcement officers
killed or disabled in the line of duty.
In 2020, 295 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty. According to the FBI, 46
officers died as a result of felonious acts, and 47 died in accidents. These and other statistics
can be found on FBI’s Crime Data Explorer website. Based on data analyzed by the National Law
Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), 90 percent of the remaining 2020 deaths were
attributable to COVID-19.
We are grateful that none of the reported fatalities occurred here in the Southern District of
Illinois. We still remember and honor the life of Illinois State Trooper Nicholas Hopkins, who was
shot and killed on Aug. 23, 2019, while attempting to execute a search warrant in East St. Louis.
He was just 33 years old.
In 2021, the names of 394 officers killed in the line of duty were added to the National Law
Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. The list includes the 295 officers who were killed
during 2020, plus 99 officers who died in previous years but whose stories of sacrifice were only
recently discovered. The names of all 394 fallen officers will be read on Thursday, May 13, 2021,
during a virtual candlelight vigil, which will be livestreamed to the public at 8:00 p.m. EDT at
A complete schedule of virtual Police Week events is listed on NLEOMF’s Police Week Flyer.
Due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, all in-person Police Week events originally scheduled for May
have been rescheduled to Oct. 13-17, 2021. To learn more about National Police Week in-person
events scheduled for October, including an in-person candlelight vigil scheduled for Oct. 14, 2021,
please visit www.policeweek.org.