Thursday, July 30, 2015

FBI National Academy Lays Wreath at Memorial

Dressed in dark green polo shorts and khaki pants, the members of the 261st session of the FBI National Academy gathered at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on Wednesday, July 29, for their traditional wreathlaying memorial service.

With the presentation of colors by the Ceremonial Honor Guard from the Metro Transit Police Department and the National Anthem performed by Samuel Olson of the Big Lake (MN) Police Department, the FBI’s Benny Lamanna welcomed the group. Lamanna congratulated the participants for their hard work and determination that lead them through their 10-week course at the academy.

Ian Stratford, of the Toronto, Canada, Police Service, reminded the officers of the names on the walls of the Memorial around them. “Heroes,” he called them, adding “law enforcement were the ones who ran in when everyone else was running out.”

After the wreath placement ceremony and roll call of fallen officers, Lamanna asked the group to raise their right hand and rededicate themselves to their profession, to keeping the public safe.

The ceremony ended with Rick Pasciuto, retired from the U.S. Capitol Police, playing Taps and the bagpipes of Rob Deer from the Fairfax County (VA) Sheriff’s Office.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Law Enforcement Day at the 'K'

It was a perfect baseball day for the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. With the temperature topping out at 93 degrees under a bright sun, the Royals took an early 4-0 lead against the Houston Astros in the first inning during their annual ‘Law Enforcement Day at the K’ on Sunday, July 26.

More than 500 law enforcement officers, and their friends and family, came out to the ballpark to support this special event, as the Royals won their fifth straight game with the 5-1 final score, remaining at the top of the American League.

The Cass County (MO) Sheriff’s Department Honor Guard presented the colors during a pregame ceremony in honor of Missouri and Kansas law enforcement personnel. The event benefited the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Our special thanks to Ariel Peralta and the Kansas City Royals Group Sales, the Missouri Chiefs of Police Association and the Kansas City Fraternal Order of Police. Check out www.lawmemorial.org/sports for the latest law enforcement appreciation sporting events to honor law enforcement.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Secret Service Commemorates 150th Anniversary

William Craig’s name sits in the shadow of Littleleaf Linden trees on the eastern wall of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Visitors might pass it, on the sixth row of Panel 16, without knowing that Craig was the first Secret Service officer to die in the line of duty in 1902.

Craig, who was killed while protecting President Theodore Roosevelt, and 35 other employees who have died while working for the United States Secret Service, were commemorated on Thursday, July 9, at the Memorial in a ceremony marking the 150th anniversary of the creation of the agency.

Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy spoke of the hard work agents put into their day, and the importance of the people they’re assigned to protect. An agency that was first created to stop the spread of counterfeit currency now protects the President of the United States, as well as fights against financial crimes throughout the country.

It is an agency older than both the FBI and CIA, and continues to be one of the most visible as they flank official representatives of the United States throughout the world.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

World Police & Fire Games Host Candlelight Ceremony

As the sun set over the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, on June 30, a large group from the Fairfax 2015 World Police & Fire Games gathered at the site to honor their fallen comrades with a candlelight Memorial Service.

Bagpipes were played throughout the ceremony that included an invocation by Monsignor Salvatore Criscuolo, of St. Patrick Catholic Church in DC, and a presentation of colors by a combined honor guard from Fairfax County (VA) Fire and Rescue, Police Department and Sheriff’s Office.

Memorial Fund Chief of Staff Herbert V. Giobbi shared welcome remarks, in which he described the bravery of those who choose to be law enforcement officers. He spoke about Lyndhurst (NJ) Police Officer Michael Keane, who was on Amtrak train 188 when it derailed in Philadelphia in May. Officer Keane was heading home after having participated in the Police Unity Tour, as part of the National Police Week festivities in Washington, DC. When the train crashed, Officer Keane’s immediate reaction, after checking on his fiancĂ©, was to start helping the others who had been injured.

Later when Officer Keane was asked why he had jumped into action, he said, “It’s my job. That’s what I’m put on this planet to do.” Mr. Giobbi stressed that officers throughout the country were put on this planet to do just that, to save the lives of others.

FBI Director James Comey Jr. took the stage as the keynote speaker and promised to continue working hard to make sure more officers aren’t killed in the line of duty, and that the names on the walls of the surrounding Memorial would always be remembered.

The lighting of the candles immediately followed led by Fairfax County (VA) Police Department 2nd Lieutenant Bruce Blechl, who helped bring the World Police & Fire Games to Fairfax. He invited survivors of fallen officers from Fairfax County to spread the light through the crowd, as an Air Force bugler played ‘Taps.’

When the ceremony concluded, the athletes were wished well in their continued games, where thousands of professional and public safety athletes from around the world compete in more than 65 sports. The World Police & Fire Games are held every two years, with the 2017 games scheduled for Montreal, Canada. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

VALOR's Officer Safety App, Stay Safe and Mobile

The VALOR Program, a project of the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, is devoted to helping prevent violence against law enforcement officers and ensuring officer resilience against violent encounters.

In addition to the training sessions they've offered across the country over the past few years, the VALOR program recently released a unique officer safety app for mobile devices.

The app "promotes the mental and physical preparation of officers" through a variety of informative resources available on the go and several useful pre-service checklists.

Learn more and check the app for iPhone or Android devices.

Survivors Visit Memorial On Scholarship Trip

On the sunny morning of June 24 in Washington, DC, 15 students gathered at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial to walk amongst the names of our fallen heroes. The students, recipients of the ICMA-RC Public Employee Memorial Scholarship, were given a tour by Memorial Programs Assistant Debbie Catena, who told them about the Memorial, including the significance of the rose and shield medallion and details about the upcoming National Law Enforcement Museum across the street.

The ICMA-RC Public Employee Memorial Scholarship Fund was created to “honor public employees who have made the ultimate sacrifice.” It provides scholarships for secondary education to the survivors of employees who died in the line of duty.

“ICMA-RC Memorial Scholarship Award recipients are remarkable for having triumphed over tremendous loss to achieve exceptional personal and academic success,” said ICMA-RC President and CEO Bob Schultze.

The students were solemn as they walked through the Memorial, paying their respects to the more than 20,000 fallen law enforcement officials whose names are etched in the marble walls.

“The recipients of the ICMA-RC Public Employee Memorial Scholarship appreciated the opportunity to visit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and were very moved by their experiences,” said Alex Hannah, ICMA-RC Vice President of Marketing Communications and Education.

“The students and their relatives who lost loved ones in the line of duty will long remember being at the memorial to reflect on their parents' honorable service.”

The tour group also met with local safety officials and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation at a commemorative dinner at the National Press Club.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mario Biaggi, Founder of Law Enforcement Memorial, Dies at 97


Former U.S. Rep. Mario Biaggi, the New York City police legend who founded the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) in 1984, died at his Bronx home yesterday at the age of 97.

Mr. Biaggi joined the New York City Police Department in 1942 and went on to serve with great distinction for 23 years. At the time of his retirement and for many years later, he was the most decorated police officer in New York City history. In his 23 years on the police force, Mr. Biaggi was injured 10 times in the line of duty, and he received 28 heroism commendations, including the Police Medal of Honor for Valor—the Department’s highest award, given for extreme acts of courage. He retired in 1965 as a Detective Lieutenant.

In 1968, Mr. Biaggi was elected to serve in the United States Congress, where for the next 20 years he was law enforcement’s most vocal and effective voice on Capitol Hill. In 1984, Mr. Biaggi formed the NLEOMF and his legislation to have a national monument built in honor of America’s law enforcement officers became law that same year. His dream became a reality when the Memorial was dedicated in 1991. Today, that Memorial stands proudly in historic Judiciary Square in Washington, D.C. and bears the names of 20,538 law enforcement officers who died in the performance of duty.


“Our nation has lost a man of great courage, compassion and achievement,” declared NLEOMF Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd, who also served as Mr. Biaggi’s legislative assistant for 10 years. “Through a life devoted to public service, Congressman Biaggi touched countless lives in a very positive and meaningful way.”

In 1998, Mr. Biaggi received the Memorial Fund’s Distinguished Service Award.  In accepting the organization’s top award, he said, “I am a recipient of an award that is extremely significant, probably the most significant award I’ve received in an entire lifetime of public service and law enforcement.”

Mr. Biaggi was once dubbed “New York’s best service Congressman” by New York magazine and his legislative achievements on behalf of the elderly, children, law enforcement officers and many others were remarkable. Yet, when asked later in life what would be his legacy, he said, “Your legacy is your family.” Mr. Biaggi is survived by his four children, Barbara, Jacqueline, Richard and Mario II, as well as 11 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

The Biaggi family will receive visitors at a wake on Monday and Tuesday, June 29-30, at the Hudson Funeral Parlor at 6110 Riverdale Ave., Riverdale, NY. A funeral mass will be held on Wednesday, July 1, at St. Philip Neri Church in the Bronx.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund