National Police Week 2020
Each year our nation loses between 140-160 law enforcement officers in the line of duty. National Police Week (NPW,) held May 11 – 17 each year in Washington, D.C., honors the service and sacrifice of U.S. law enforcement officers.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed Public Law 87-726 designating May 15 as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day, and the week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. The law was amended by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Public Law 103-322, signed by President Bill Clinton, directing that the flag of the United States be displayed at half-staff on all government buildings on May 15 each year. While the actual dates change from year to year, National Police Week is always the calendar week, beginning on Sunday, which includes May 15.
On May 11 and 12, surviving families and co-workers begin arriving in Washington, D.C. for the events.
The first major event is the Candlelight Vigil hosted by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) on May 13. The service begins at 8:00 p.m. with the newly-engraved names being read.
Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) hosts the National Police Survivors’ Conference on May 14 and May 16 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, the host hotel. The conference includes breakfast, lunch, guest speakers, debriefing sessions, and a Kids/Teens program for the surviving children and siblings of the fallen officer. On May 16, the conference closes with a Picnic on the Patio night where dinner is provided with games, music, and more. This allows survivors to relax and be with each other after a stressful week.
The Fraternal Order of Police and Auxiliary hosts the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service on the west front lawn of the U.S. Capitol on May 15. The surviving family members will have an opportunity to place a flower in a wreath honoring their fallen officer. The service begins at 11:00 a.m. and will last about 2 hours.
Attending National Police Week will afford you the opportunity to meet the families and co-workers of other fallen officers, learn how to cope with your grief, and decompress from the formalities of the week’s events. You will gain a support system that will be there for you in the months and years to come.
Benefits of Registering for National Police Week through C.O.P.S. will allow you to:
• Have local law enforcement meet you at your gate at Reagan National Airport (DCA) on May 11 and May 12 and escort you to your C.O.P.S. conference hotel.
• Lessen your stress by taking advantage of the shuttle system between all C.O.P.S. conference hotels and events.
• Enjoy the meals that C.O.P.S. provides on May 14 and May 16.
• Secure seating at the Candlelight Vigil and National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service.
• Participate in activities provided for surviving children and siblings of the fallen officer at local area law enforcement academies.
• Enjoy discounted hotel rates.
• Have peer support from other survivors and co-workers who have suffered a loss.
• Have your surviving family in close proximity, if you are a co-worker.
• Participate in group debriefings provided by C.O.P.S. and individual support for all survivors and co-workers.
• Receive your nametag to be able to enter the week’s events.
• Receive assistance from C.O.P.S. staff and support personnel.
Samples of Sessions Include:
Getting “Unstuck” From Trauma: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
It Isn’t Over When It’s Over
Keeping Faith During Traumatic Times
Law Enforcement Death Is Always So Traumatic – Why?
Life Is Like A Dance – Sometimes You Lead and Sometimes You Follow
Mending While Blending
My Emotions – Is This Normal?
Preparing for Trial and the Aftermath
Putting my Marriage Back Together After a Line-of-Duty Death
Reaching Out to the Newly Bereaved
Resiliency – How to Survive in the Face of Trauma
Running a Healthy Chapter – Back to Basics
Single Parenting – When It’s Not By Choice
Survivor Guilt – Why Do I Feel So Guilty?
Teenagers and the Grief Process – Panel Discussion
To register for NPW, visit https://www.concernsofpolicesurvivors.org/npwregistration
WAStateC.O.P.S. offers financial assistance for survivors to attend NPW. When our assistance is determined for 2020, we will post the assistance form on our Resources page to download.