Every May, the COPS Office actively participates in honoring the memory of the men and women of law enforcement who have given their lives while performing their duties as an officer or deputy. Every year, tens of thousands of survivors and supporters of law enforcement come to Washington, D.C., to pay tribute to those who have chosen to serve their communities every day, and to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. This year, the COPS Office was proud to have many staffers involved in several of the activities that took place during National Police Week (May 13– 19) as well as throughout the month of May.
In 2012, the COPS Office welcomed Police Week by hosting two Congressional Open Houses on Capitol Hill. The events were held separately for both the Senate and House, on May 8 and May 10, respectively. With over 1,000 knowledge resources distributed, this year had a greater turnout than any previous year. This was due in part to the timing of the events, which could not have been better. Only hours before, the House passed the Fiscal Year 2013 budget. The approved budget included funding the COPS Office with $198.5 million, including funds for Meth, Tribal resources, and the highly-coveted COPS Hiring Program (CHP). This was a very stark contrast from last year, when the House voted to zero out funding to the COPS Office.
COPS Office Director Melekian also made appearances throughout the week to honor fallen law enforcement officers. He was available at the Open Houses to discuss all issues of public safety; he read names of fallen officers at the National Police Week Candlelight Vigil; and lastly, he delivered remarks regarding officer suicides at the National Association of Police Organizations Spring Meeting. “Losing an officer has a devastating impact on police departments, in operation and function, and in morale,” said Director Melekian, as he addressed the Legislative Committee. “At the COPS Office, we are very interested in compiling, analyzing, and sharing best practices with the field regarding issues that may impact the safety and well-being of officers.”
COPS Office staffers also had the chance to show their support through various events. On May 12, athletic COPS employees woke up early on that sunny Saturday morning to participate in the annual National Police Week 5k race in downtown Washington, D.C. With more than 2,000 racers attending, and $67,000 raised for the Officer Down Memorial Page and Concerns of Police Survivors, the event was a great way for staff to honor the fallen officers. During Police Week itself, several employees also volunteered to help staff the COPS booth in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) office building located at 2CON Square. They gladly answered questions and handed out important Police Week information to fellow DOJ colleagues while speaking on what the COPS Office is all about. Lastly, COPS Office External Affairs and Publishing Divisions did a spectacular job of designing several posters to put on display throughout the month of May at the RFK Main Justice Building, highlighting our commitment to officer safety and wellness and the importance of the events being held during Police Week.
National Police Week 2012 was a tremendous success, and the COPS Office is proud to have had so many representatives showing their support of the law enforcement community at many of the events. The COPS Office is thankful for these opportunities to share our commitment to the safety of all of our nation’s officers during this special week in May as well as throughout the year.
The COPS Office