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U.S. Attorney makes plans to recognize police week

U.S. Attorney Richard Moore announced plans in a Monday to observe National Police Week, a time dedicated to recognizing the “service and sacrifice of federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement,” this week, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.

“There is no more noble profession than serving as a police officer,” said U.S. Attorney General Richard 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.”

Moore concurred.

“I agree with our Attorney General that, particularly in this hazardous COVID-19 environment, our police officers provide a critical service that we should pause to salute,” Moore said. “We are fortunate to have some of the finest men and women in the United States serving right here in the Southern District of Alabama as police officers. They deserve our respect and gratitude. On behalf of the staff of the United States Attorney’s Office, I want to offer our sincere thanks to all of our police officers who keep us safe. Thank you.”

National Police Week and Peace Officers Memorial Day, which falls on May 15 and specifically honors officers killed or disabled in the line of duty, was established in 1962 by then-U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

While National Police Week is recognized each year, the outbreak of COVID-19 across the nation only further underscores the importance of law enforcement officers’ “courage and unwavering devotion to the communities they swore to serve,” the press release stated.

According to data collected and analyzed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) program, nearly 90 officers died across the country in 2019, including six in Alabama.

So far this year, 20 officers have been killed as compared to the 16 killed during the same period last year – of the 20 victims, four were ambushed and one was the victim of an unprovoked attack.

The names of those officers added in 2020 to the memorial wall at the National Law Enforcement Memorial will be read aloud during a candlelight vigil – this year conducted virtually in observance of social distancing guidelines – to be held Wednesday night at 8 p.m.