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Ask A Cop: What is Police Week?

TREAT(A Lake Oswego police officer answers readers’ questions each week in this space. To submit a question, call staff reporter Cliff Newell at 503-636-1281 ext. 105 or send an email to cnewell@lakeoswegoreview.com.)

“What is National Police Week?”

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation that designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as National Police Week. The event recognizes the service and sacrifice of U.S. law enforcement officers.

Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962. National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. Tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, D.C., to participate in a number of planned events that honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. 

One of those events, the Memorial Service, began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Decades later, National Police Week has grown to a series of events that draw between 25,000 and 40,000 attendees. The attendees come from departments throughout the U.S., as well as from agencies around the world. This provides a unique opportunity to meet others who share a common brotherhood/sisterhood.

These events are open to all law enforcement personnel and are an experience unlike any other.  Former Lake Oswego Police Chief Dan Duncan’s name is etched into a granite wall in Washington, D.C., and several members of the Lake Oswego Police Department Honor Guard have participated in the events in the nation’s capital, including the very solemn and heartbreaking candlelight vigil.

— Lt. Doug Treat


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