Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Closer Look: Traffic-related Law Enforcement Fatalities

For the past 13 years, traffic-related incidents have been the highest cause of law enforcement fatalities. As of December 14, 2011, traffic-related law enforcement fatalities are down 16% from the same time in 2010.

Seventy law enforcement officers died in traffic-related incidents in 2010, with 49 killed in automobile crashes, 14 struck and killed, six officers killed in motorcycle crashes and one officer killed in a bicycle crash.

So far in 2011, there have been 42 officers have been killed in automobile crashes, nine officers struck and killed, seven killed in motorcycle crashes and two killed when a train struck their vehicle.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund will issue its annual Preliminary Law Enforcement Fatality Research Bulletin on December 28, 2011, which will contain more detailed information about traffic-related fatalities and all law enforcement fatalities.

This blog is part of a series highlighting the risks law enforcement officers face on the road, as part of  an innovative partnership  with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to promote law enforcement officer safety on the roadways.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Remembering Robert Gordon

Craig Floyd presents Mr. Gordon
with the Lifetime Achievement Award in May 2011.
Today, the Memorial Fund mourns the loss of its close friend and Board Member, Robert Gordon.

Robert (Bob) Gordon was a Founding Board Member of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. During his 27 years with the organization, he served as an original member of the Names and Officer of the Month Committees.

Mr. Gordon served the law enforcement community with distinction for nearly 60 years, starting with his appointment to the Freeport (NY) Police Department in 1952. He was a longtime police labor union leader and lobbyist and the Secretary Treasurer of the United Federation of Police.

Earlier this year, Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO, Craig W. Floyd presented Mr. Gordon with a Lifetime Achievement Award, for his leadership and dedication to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Mr. Gordon will be greatly missed; condolences to his family.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Police Lieutenant Colonel Somprab, Chief of Kota Baru Police Station in Thailand, took the time to visit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial earlier this week in Washington, DC.

Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO, Craig W. Floyd, guided Lt. Somprab through the Memorial, telling the history of how it was created and highlighting the construction of the National Law Enforcement Museum, right across the street from the Memorial.

At the conclusion of the tour, Mr. Floyd and Lt. Somprab did an etching of Fred Morrone’s name, located on Panel: 10-W: 23 of the Memorial’s walls. Superintendent of the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey, Fred Morrone was killed ten years ago during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Lt. Somprab was moved by Fred Morrone’s heroism and plans to frame the etching in his office upon his return to Thailand. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembering America's Military Veterans

Today, the nation pauses to remember and honor its military veterans.

When it comes to honoring and remembering the fallen, nobody does it better than the military and law enforcement. The names of 30 brave men and women killed in the line of duty while serving as law enforcement officers, abroad and at home, are engraved on the marble walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

The line between law enforcement and military service is often blurred. Many veterans of foreign wars turn to policing when they come home. Many police officers are military reservists.

This Veteran's Day, leave a tribute to recognize all the countless contributions military and law enforcement officers make each day to protect our country and ensure our freedom.

An inscription on the Memorial sums up the meaning of the heroic and selfless deeds performed by law enforcement and military professionals. It reads:  In Valor There is Hope.  As long as there are men and women among us who are willing to put their lives at risk for our freedom and safety, there is indeed great hope for the future of our nation and our world.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Honorary Chairman, Clint Eastwood tours the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial

Early this morning, legendary actor and director Clint Eastwood toured the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. As Honorary Chairman of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and the National Law Enforcement Museum, Mr. Eastwood helps raise public awareness and support for the Memorial and Museum with an informative PSA campaign.

Mr. Eastwood was in town to premiere his new movie, J. Edgar, which examines the compelling life of the first FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, portrayed by actor Leonardo DiCaprio. The National Law Enforcement Museum and Warner Bros. co-hosted the film’s DC debut at the Newseum. An event recap and photos are available at

During the tour of the Memorial, Mr. Eastwood was shown Panel: 34-W: 20, which contains the name of Assistant Special Agent in Charge Alan G. Whicher.  Asst. SAIC Whicher’s entire protective detail shift was filmed for three months as part of the 1993 movie, In the Line of Fire, starting Mr. Eastwood. Tragically, SAIC Whicher was killed in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK on April 19, 1995. Along with an etching of SAIC Whicher’s name, Mr. Eastwood was presented with a bronze lion statue  to take home with him, as a token of appreciation for his support and dedication to the law enforcement community.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Head of the Iraqi Police Service Visit National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial

Last week, Deputy Minister Aydin, head of the Iraqi Police Service toured the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO, Craig W. Floyd, showed him panels 9-W to 22-W, where the names of 72 officers killed on September 11, 2001 are engraved. Deputy Minister Aydin laid a rose to honor their service and sacrifice.

Deputy Minister Aydin is a law enforcement officer and head of the Iraqi Police Service, which has 300,000 uniformed officers and is the largest police force in Iraq. Three years ago, Honorable Jawad Karim al Bulani, Iraqi Minister of the Interior, visited the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial to lay a ceremonial wreath in honor of all law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

At that time, he remarked that approximately 12,000 Iraqi police and security officers have died in the line of duty. Sadly, Deputy Minister Aydin shared that figure had grown to over 19,000 officers killed since 2003.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Memorial’s 20th Anniversary Gala

Bird's eye view of the Color Guard entering the 20th Anniversary Gala
Guests celebrated 20 years of  honoring America’s law enforcement officers—especially the fallen heroes—at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial’s 20th Anniversary Gala on Wednesday evening, October 12, in Washington, DC.  All proceeds from the Gala benefit the National Law Enforcement Museum.  The Honorable Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, served as Chair of the star-studded event.  Actor Richard Belzer of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit served as the event’s Master of Ceremonies. Also joining the celebration was actor and National Law Enforcement Museum National Spokesperson, Vincent D’Onofrio, who welcomed guests and introduced the event.

Other special moments from the evening included a video tribute from former President George H.W. Bush, who dedicated the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial 20 years ago, and now serves as Co-Chair of the National Honorary Campaign Committee of the National Law Enforcement Museum, along with former President Bill Clinton. Actor, director, and producer, Clint Eastwood, who serves as Honorary Chairman of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and National Law Enforcement Museum, also shared some encouraging words of support for the Museum via video.

Stirring musical tributes from singer Daniel Rodriguez, Pipe Major Steve Butterbrodt of the Port Authority of NY/NJ Police Department Pipe & Drums, and Officer Chris Jackson (ret.) of the Metropolitan Police Department of DC, were beautiful parts of the celebration.  Linda Moon Gregory, National President of Concerns of Police Survivor, Pat Montuore, Police Unity Tour Founder and CEO, and Barb Lyons, Police Unity Tour participant and mother of fallen Oregon State Trooper Scott Lyons,  also shared touching remarks.

Dick Wolf, of Law & Order fame, received the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund's 2011 “Distinguished Service Award.  The evening included a 20th Anniversary Memorial and Museum video tribute produced by A&E Television, that beautifully captured the meaning and essence of the Memorial and upcoming Museum.

The event offered one of the first glimpses of the upcoming Museum’s Hall of Remembrance, an exhibit designed to tell the stories behind the names currently inscribed on the national monument dedicated to America’s fallen law enforcement officers.  It was a wonderful way to raise money for the Museum and recognize American law enforcement for their role in upholding the ideals of the U.S. Constitution.

Additionally, the announcement of a $2 million dollar gift to the National Law Enforcement Museum was made at the Memorial’s 20th Anniversary Gala. The gift from GLOCK, Inc. will be used to develop an educational and interactive exhibit at the National Law Enforcement Museum called The History Beat. GLOCK is a global manufacturer of pistols and accessories and is the pistol of choice for over 65% of American law enforcement agencies.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

14th Annual Canadian Police and Peace Officers' Memorial Day

On September 25, 2011, thousands of police officers converged on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada for the 14th Annual Police and Peace Officers' Memorial Day.

In 1998, the Canadian Government declared the last Sunday of every September as Canadian Police and Peace Officers' Memorial Day. The Memorial service is similar to our May 15th National Peace Officers Memorial Day, celebrated each year in the United States during National Police Week.

Four officers killed in 2010 and 2011 were honored at this service:
  • Constable Garrett Styles, York Regional Police
  • Sergeant Ryan J. Russell, Toronto Police
  • Constable Sébastien Coghlan-Goyette, Sûreté du Québec
  • Constable Michael B. Potvin, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
According to a statement from Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, "The Canadian Police and Peace Officers' Annual Memorial Service gives Canadians an opportunity to formally express their appreciation for the dedication of police and peace officers, who contribute so much to keeping our communities safe and to those who have paid the ultimate price."

The Canadian Memorial now contains the names of over 800 fallen officers. A total of 51 names were added to the Memorial in 2011, including the four officers listed above and the names of 47 officers from historical cases, with 43 of those officers from the Province of Quebec.

More information about the Canadian Police Memorial is available at:

Photograph by: Arlen Redekop, PNG

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Why I'm Running: Detective Gene Fox

In about a month, Detective Gene Fox will make the long journey from the state of Texas to Washington, DC to participate in the Law Enforcement Ride & Run to Remember on October 16, 2011. Watch the video below to hear why Det. Fox decided to participate in this event and why you should join him in honoring all of America's law enforcement heroes by registering for the Ride & Run today.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ten Years After The Terrorist Attacks Of September 11, 2001

Today, at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, we honored the 72 American peace officers killed tragically on September 11, 2001.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., gave the keynote speech and was joined by FBI Director Robert Mueller, United States Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, United States Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers, Former Chief of the Port Authority of NY & NJ Police Department Joseph Morris, and Port Authority Officers Cesare Morales and Paul Nunziato in reading the names of all 72 officers killed that day.

"Because of them, the anniversary we observe every September 11th will always be about far more than the buildings that our enemies brought down, or the damage that they inflicted on our fellow citizens. It’s about honoring the heroism we witnessed on that fateful day – and the resilience that the American people have shown since,"said Attorney General Holder.

"Let this be our commitment to those we honor this morning – the 72 brave individuals whose names are etched, along with more than 19,000 others, into the walls of this memorial. Let us carry on their unfinished work and strive – in their honor – to promote, not only safety and security, but also peace – and, above all, justice. And – as we leave this place today – let us do everything in our power to ensure that – in our own time, in the lives of our children, and in the work of future generations – the stories, the memories, and the rich legacies of those we lost on September 11th will never be forgotten," he concluded.

Special thanks to United States Capitol Police Officer Melissa Recchuiti Gibson, Officer Mike McCann of the Virgina State Police, and Captain Kathy Harasek for their participation in today's ceremony.

To view the full text of the Attorney General's speech from today, visit

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chairman’s Award Given to John Wehrli of the National Park Service

Last week, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Chairman's Award was given to an exceptional individual— National Park Service employee, John Wehrli.

John Wehrli has been responsible for maintaining the Memorial for the past 18 years. During his nearly two decades spent at the Memorial, the well-kept, gorgeous grounds have spoken volumes about the Memorial’s devoted caretaker—it is no secret that John Wehrli took great pride in what he did.

After his long stretch at the National Law Enforcement Memorial, he has been reassigned to the World War II Memorial.  It is a testament to his dedication and hard work that the Memorial today looks just as beautiful as it did 20 years ago. He will be greatly missed.

For his commitment and long, impressive career of keeping the Memorial as if it were his own yard, John Wehrli received the second-ever Chairman's Award. Fittingly, the award was presented to him by Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO Craig Floyd at a gathering held in Mr. Wehrli’s honor at the Memorial Fund offices. Staff joined together to bid John farewell and to thank him for his years of support and friendship. Mr. Floyd expressed his gratitude to the talented employee for his unique and remarkable work ethic and 18 successful years of upholding the Memorial, “It will be very hard to replace you, John," he said.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Remembering Officer Jeremy Henwood, San Diego (CA) Police Department

About three weeks ago, San Diego (CA) Police Officer Jeremy Henwood entered a local McDonald’s to buy some lunch. When a kid approached him and asked for 10 cents to buy some cookies, Officer Henwood offered to treat him instead. He asked the young boy what he wanted to do when he got older… “Be an NBA star,” the kid said. Officer Henwood bought him the cookies and gave him a bit of advice, too—he told him to work hard and follow his dreams.

Little did they know, this would be the last conversation Officer Henwood would ever have.

Moments later, Officer Henwood left McDonald’s and got back in his patrol car. Sitting idle at an intersection, an assailant pulled out a shotgun, and shot Officer Henwood in the head. A four-year department veteran, Officer Henwood had just completed a tour of duty and had recently returned home from Afghanistan. The marine combat veteran had, in fact, served several tours of duty overseas—including two tours in Iraq as a U.S. Marine—but sadly, it turned out to be far more deadly for him here at home. His father, Rob Henwood, said he hopes his son's death will remind people about the recognition and honor police officers deserve.

Leave a tribute to Officer Henwood at

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Recent College Grad Runs Across the U.S. to Honor Fallen Heroes

Sarah, the 22-year-old daughter of a retired San Bernardino City (CA) Police Lieutenant, is in the midst of running cross-country as a tribute to the memory of fallen peace officers and those who served in the Armed Forces.

After graduating from college, Sarah was faced with the big question many recent grads encounter—what’s next? As explained on her blog “Chasing Asphalt,” Sarah didn’t know the answer to that daunting question. “So I decided to go for a run in the meantime … from California to New York,” she said.

Her journey began on July 24 in Huntington Beach, and she is set to touch down in New York by late November or early December. While traversing the United States on foot is bound to be mentally and physically exhausting, Sarah said the purpose of her journey will enable her to persevere against all odds.

So far, she has been accompanied by both law enforcement officers and firefighters—either escorting her in patrol vehicles or running alongside her—for as much as 40-mile stretches as she passes through the Morongo Basin in southern California.

Although she never bargained for or anticipated any monetary support, she has received some donations that she plans to give to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, the Wounded Warrior Project, and the Fallen Firefighter Foundation.

For more information:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

13th Anniversary of Tragic Killing of Two U.S. Capitol Police Officers

This year marked the 13th anniversary of the brutal rampage that took the lives of two U.S. Capitol Police Officers: Detective John Gibson and Officer Jacob Chestnut.

On July 24, 1998, Officer Chestnut and Detective Gibson were guarding the East entrance of the Capitol building. At approximately 3:40 pm, a gunman attempted to force himself past the officers.  When Officer Chestnut denied him entry by obstructing his path, the deranged gunman fatally shot him at point-blank range.  Detective Gibson warned those nearby to seek cover then chased the gunman down the hallway. They exchanged fire and one of the rounds hit Detective Gibson, who succumbed to his serious gunshot wounds.

A plaque has been placed in the U.S. Capitol to pay tribute to their service and sacrifice, and their names are engraved on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

On Monday, both U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid began their remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate memorializing Detective Gibson and Officer Chestnut by laying a wreath and observing a moment of silence to pay tribute to the courageous officers.

Both Detective Gibson and Officer Chestnut were 18-year law enforcement veterans. Their dedication to service and their commitment to safeguarding the U.S. Capitol and the citizens inside will never be forgotten.

Citizens across America should take a moment out of their busy days to remember these two valiant individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice on July 24, 1998.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nine-Year old Avi Completes 341 Mile Bike Ride to Honor Officer David Moore

Last week, Sgt. Doug Forrest and his nine-year old son, Avi, completed a 341 mile bike ride from McKeesport, PA to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. Avi made the journey to honor fallen Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer David Moore, killed on January 26, 2011 and to raise funds for the David S. Moore Foundation, established by Officer Moore's parents after his death.

As Avi, Sgt. Forrest and Susan Schneider peddled into the Memorial, they were greeted by Officer Moore's uncle, Juan Moore. Officer Moore had previously visited the Memorial with his father, an active law enforcement officer also with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

According to a story by WISH TV, Sgt. Forrest stated that, "For me, the Memorial is always an emotional experience. I always break down and cry when I think of them because I miss them when I see their names on there. Avi just knows it's really emotional for his dad, and he pats me on the back and tells me, 'It's OK.'" 

Congratulations, Avi on your incredible journey, and thank you for honoring the memory and service of Officer David Moore.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Telford Borough Police Department Supports the Memorial Fund in All American Soap Box Derby Race

The All American Soap Box Derby race was held in Souderton, Pennsylvania on June 4. The longstanding soap box car racing tradition began in 1941 and has continued to unite the community for about 70 years—people of all ages look forward to this exciting event each year. Local businesses often sponsor cars and offer their services and assistance free of charge in support of the special occasion that positively impacts the community.

This community spirit and collective effort helped the Telford Borough Police Department and a local fifth grade Franconia Elementary School student named Marcus participate in this year’s race. It took several hands working together to discover the cost of a pre-owned soap box car, acquire and prepare a car, find a driver, and raise awareness and funds for a worthy cause.

Back in September 2010, Sgt. Jim Minninger and members of the Telford Borough P.D. requested funding for the car cost and race fees, but budgetary cuts left their request denied. This minor setback was reconciled by a local business owner who donated a soap box car kit and arranged for another local business responsible for designing and applying the graphics to patrol vehicles to donate decals and striping for their soap box car. With the generosity and support of the community, the soap box car was covered. Now they needed a driver.

The Department decided to offer the opportunity to a local child that would not otherwise be able to pilot a soap box car by holding an essay contest. They were granted permission from the local school district to distribute fliers to third through fifth grade students announcing the search for a soap box car driver and advertising the essay question: “How would you ‘Do Your Best’ if chosen to pilot a soap box car?” The winner was eleven-year-old Marcus, whose winning essay said: “I will always follow the directions, give my best effort to create a safe and fun soap box car, and last, have fun and make new friends.” Not only did Marcus accomplish all these goals, but he finished 6th in his division in the All American race, making the Telford Borough Police Department and entire community very proud.

Not only did Sgt. Minninger and his colleagues want to take full advantage of the race as an opportunity for their officers to deepen their positive relationships with local youth and their families, but they also wanted to raise funds in support of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, and they did just that. With the help of the community and by affixing the Fund’s Rose & Shield logo to the soap box car, the Telford Borough Police Department raised awareness and $1,000 for the Memorial Fund.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Team SAC PD Completes "Race Across America"

Last week, officers from the Sacramento (CA) Police Department presented Craig W. Floyd, Chairman & CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund with a directory containing the names of 19,298 officers killed in the line of duty after completing a grueling and physically challenging cross country bike ride.

Team SAC PD began their journey in Oceanside, CA and arrived safely in Annapolis, MD after completing the "Race Across America." Each team member rode with a thumb drive also containing the name of all known officers killed in the line of duty. 

For more information on how to get involved with Team SAC PD, contact Lt. Jim Beezley at Photos from their journey are available on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Major League Baseball Manager Manny Acta Honored with Inaugural Chairman’s Award

Major League Baseball manager of the Cleveland Indians, Manny Acta, received the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s first-ever Chairman's Award on May 19, 2011. The award was presented at the Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians baseball game at Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field during the Chicago White Sox's Law Enforcement Day at the Park, to honor local Chicago law enforcement personnel, including the five Chicago officers who made the ultimate sacrifice last year.

A deserving recipient of this inaugural honor, Manny is a fervent supporter of the Memorial Fund and the upcoming National Law Enforcement Museum, currently under construction, as well as an advocate for the law enforcement profession and the brave men and women who serve and protect our communities.
In 2009, Manny filmed a public service announcement for the National Law Enforcement Museum that aired at Nationals Park—home of the Washington Nationals, where he served as manager for three years before moving to Cleveland.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund “Chairman’s Award” is presented to a deserving individual or organization that has assisted the Memorial Fund in its work to honor the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers, and/or has made contributions to the law enforcement profession.

The award was given to Manny by Memorial Fund Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd, Director of Development & Law Enforcement Relations John Shanks, International Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Director and Memorial Fund Board Member Dan Rosenblatt, Deputy Executive Director Jim McMahon, and Research Center Director John Firman, along with Gates (NY) Police Department Detective and Memorial Fund Ambassador Joshua Bowman, right on the baseball diamond at U.S. Cellular Field.

“The Memorial Fund is extremely grateful to Manny for his dedication to law enforcement and our worthy cause. We hope that his support and leadership will encourage Major League Baseball and other professional sports to honor law enforcement and participate in the Museum campaign, appropriately called “A Matter of Honor,” said Mr. Floyd.

For more information about the Museum campaign and how to donate visit:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Help Team SacPD on Their 3,000+ Mile Journey

Police Officers from the Sacramento (CA) Police Department are gearing up for the Race Across America, a cross-country bike ride from California to Maryland. Team SacPD will start their 3,000+ mile journey on June 18, 2011, to help raise awareness for the over 19,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in US history.

As part of their efforts, Team SacPD has created a catalog of names of fallen officers that they will keep with them on the journey. At the end of the ride, it will be presented to Craig W. Floyd, Chairman & CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Help Team SacPD reach their $100,000 goal by making a donation or providing in-kind support. Learn more about how you can help at

For more information on how to get involved with TeamSacPD, contact Lt. Jim Beezley at or call (816) 808-0854 for more information and visit the website at

Friday, June 10, 2011

Historic Law Enforcement Officer's First Visit to the Memorial

Two days after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, then Detective James R. Leavelle, Dallas (TX) Police Department, found himself handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald as they were escorting him to the county jail. Because they were shackled so closely to one another during the transport, Mr. Leavelle turned to him and said, “Lee, if anybody shoots, I hope they’re as good a shot as you are." According to Mr. Leavelle, he (Oswald) kind of laughed and said, “Well nobody’s going to shoot at me.”

The shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald was captured by a Dallas Times-Herald Pulitzer Prize winning black and white photograph picturing Detective Leavelle handcuffed to Oswald—a photograph that undoubtedly made him one of the most famous police officers in America.

This week, Mr. Leavelle made the trip from Texas to visit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and provide an oral history for the National Law Enforcement Museum, to permanently record his law enforcement service and ensure his story will be shared with everyone that visits the Museum.

Mr. Leavelle also served as the first guest in the National Law Enforcement Museum's, Witness to History discussion series last Tuesday evening.

Yesterday, Mr. Leavelle, along with his wife and daughter, visited the Memorial for the first time. Fittingly, Mr. Leavelle saw the name of his former colleague with the Dallas (TX) Police, JD Tippit, etched on to Panel 63-E, Line 9 of the marble walls. JD Tippit was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald minutes after President Kennedy was killed.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Eleven-year-old Adam Pays Special Tribute to All Fallen Heroes

Etching an officer’s name on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is a meaningful and special tradition. It allows individuals to bring a bit of the Memorial home with them—more specifically, an outlined name of a fallen officer whom they will never forget. To surviving family members and loved ones, these etchings serve as constant, tangible reminders of the sacrifices made and the lives lived by such selfless and courageous individuals.

That key sentiment was not lost on Adam, the 11-year-old son of a 20-year law enforcement veteran and member of Virginia II Chapter of the Blue Knights. Adam attended his second LawRide on May 9th during National Police Week 2011 and spent time selling Memorial Fund merchandise in order to raise funds for a cause particularly significant to him and his family.

During Adam’s visit to the Memorial, he displayed compassion well beyond his years for all 19,298 officers whose names adorn the marble walls. One of the names on the monument represents a close friend and colleague whom Adam’s father worked with for nine years. Virginia State Police Trooper Mark Cosslett, or “Cooter” as he was known by those closest to him, was killed in a motorcycle accident while responding to a call of shots fired on October 23, 2002, during the sniper attacks in the Washington, DC area.

Adam demonstrated his gratitude and honored not only his friend , but all those who have died in the line of duty, by tracing letters from several different names on the Memorial walls in order to create his special tribute message: “Rest In Peace. None Of You Will Ever Be Forgotten.” As you can see in the photos, these powerful words were flanked by “VSP” in the lower right-hand corner of the paper to represent the Virginia State Police in remembrance of Trooper Cosslett, as well as Adam’s father, who continues to serve today.

Many unique tributes like Adam’s are left at the Memorial each day, especially during National Police Week, and each has its own extraordinary story and significance.

Share your own personal tributes at

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Law Enforcement Day at the Park

Photo courtesy of Josh Bowman
The Chicago White Sox dedicated May 19, 2011, as National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Day at the Park. The event was organized by the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #7 and benefited the Memorial Fund's efforts to build the National Law Enforcement Museum.

Last year, five Chicago Police Officers made the ultimate sacrifice — Michael Ray Bailey Sr, Michael Ronald Flisk, Alan J Haymaker, Thor O Soderberg, and Thomas E Wortham IV. Their names were added to the Memorial earlier this spring and formally dedicated on May 13, 2011, at the annual Candlelight Vigil.

Thanks to all who came to US Cellular Field to honor the service and sacrifice of 19,298 officers, killed in the line of duty.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Observing National Police Week in Afghanistan

Last week, law enforcement officers, their families, and citizen supporters gathered at the annual Candlelight Vigil, the FOP ceremony at the U.S. Capitol and other events held in Washington, DC, as part of National Police Week. In addition, folks across the country were busy observing Peace Officers Memorial Day in their local communities. And one group found themselves celebrating locally ... in Afghanistan.

A special agent sent the Memorial Fund photos from the Police Week ceremony attended by 150 law enforcement officers, from 20 federal law enforcement agencies, with representatives from four countries. General Mark Martins, Rule of Law Afghanistan was the guest speaker.

The Memorial Fund flag was signed by those in attendance and is being sent back to the US to be placed at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

Monday, May 16, 2011

National Peace Officers Memorial Day

In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15th falls, as National Police Week determining the dates for National Police Week 2011 — Sunday, May 15th through Saturday, May 21st.

At the conclusion of the 30th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service at the U.S. Capitol, leaders of the Fraternal Order of Police, the FOP Auxiliary, Concerns of Police Survivors and the Memorial Fund brought the wreath from the Capitol to the Memorial to remain under the watch of honor guards from all over the country for the rest of the evening.

Hundreds of honor guard members from across the country, flanked both sides of E Street NW leading to the Memorial. The wreath was preceded by the U.S. Honor Flag hosted by the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Many folks spent the afternoon and evening at the Memorial's walls. There were laughter and tears, handshakes and hugs, lots of blue tape, and thousands of name rubbings.

At midnight, a lone piper walked through the Memorial as he played, and the flags were returned to full staff signaling the end of Peace Officers Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

17th Annual Emerald Society & Pipeband March and Service

Bagpipes trace their roots to the Middle East several centuries before the birth of Christ. But it was in Ireland and Scotland that the instrument became popular, used to signal a death and escort the fallen to the final resting place. Their strong association with law enforcement in the United States developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as Irish-Americans stepped forward and began to fill the growing ranks of our law enforcement agencies. One of the enduring traditions they brought with them was bagpipe music.

This annual service remembered all law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, in particular officers of Gaelic descent.

Friday, May 13, 2011

23rd Annual Candlelight Vigil

The names of 316 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty — 152 of them in 2010 — were formally dedicated on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Friday evening in Washington, DC.

The full news release is available at

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Police Unity Tour to Arrive at National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial

Tomorrow, over 1,300 members of the Police Unity Tour will triumphantly make their way to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, after an arduous multi-day journey, testing their mental and physical strength. They ride for one purpose, to always honor and never forget the more than 19,000 law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of duty.

As the riders enter the Memorial through the “Pathways of Remembrance,” they will be cheered on by their friends, family, and supporters. Throughout their long voyage, Police Unity Tour members wear special remembrance bracelets that bear the name(s) of the officer(s) they ride for. Many members present the bracelets to surviving family members upon finishing the ride.

Along their routes, members stopped at 10 Target® stores to further the group’s primary mission of raising awareness about law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. Target® is a generous sponsor of the Police Unity Tour, and the Memorial Fund’s National Police Week events and activities are also supported, in part, by a generous contribution from Target®.

Follow the riders’ progress and view a few photos from the tour at and on twitter @nleomf.

Monday, May 9, 2011

32nd Annual Washington Area Police Memorial Service

Today, at the Washington Area Law Enforcement Memorial Fountain outside the DC Metropolitan Police Headquarters, dozens of law enforcement officers, honor guards, and surviving families gathered to pay tribute and honor the officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in years past. The 32nd Annual Washington Area Police Memorial Service is organized each year by the Metropolitan Police Department, the Fraternal Order of Police DC Lodge #1, and the DC Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.).

Introductory remarks were given by Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier, followed by guest speaker Terrance Gainer, Senate Sergeant-at-Arms of the United States Senate. Vincent Gray, Mayor of the District of Columbia and Rob Baechtel, President of the DC Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors expressed their gratitude to the officers, who were killed in the performance of duty and highlighted the sacrifices made by their surviving family members.

In 2010, the Washington metro area lost six officers, who were honored at today’s service:

Agency heads from the corresponding departments paid special tribute to each of the fallen heroes lost last year. Following the tributes, Mirella Arroyo, Fraternal Order of Police DC Lodge #1 solemnly recited the names of all of the region’s fallen heroes over the past 32 years—a grand total of 120 officers representing 29 different agencies. During the roll call, law enforcement officers, survivors and supporters walked to the fountain to place a flower, while DC’s Ballou High School Choir sang Gospel hymns in the background.

All six of the officers honored today will have their names formally dedicated on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial this Friday, May 13th, along with 310 other officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Next up: the Police Unity Tour Arrival Ceremony – 2 pm at the Memorial on May 12, 2011. For more information about National Police Week 2011, including a complete schedule of events, visit

Sunday, May 8, 2011

16th Annual LawRide

“We ride in memory of those who paid the ultimate price for their dedication to service and duty. We place the wreaths in honor of their supreme sacrifice,” said Gary Lyons, LawRide Founder.

This Mother’s Day, in the wee hours of the morning, law enforcement officers and motorcycle enthusiasts gathered at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC to prepare for the 16th Annual LawRide to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Hundreds of riders past the U.S. Capitol, down Pennsylvania Avenue, and up 6th Street on their way to the Memorial.

Immediately following the ride, a ceremony was held and four ceremonial wreaths were placed at the Memorial’s center medallion, to honor all the fallen heroes of American law enforcement.

Sadly, 10 of the 316 newly engraved names belong to motorcycle officers – six from 2010 and four other officers from dates as far back as 1921. Over 1,250 motorcycle officers have their names inscribed on the Memorial.

It has been over 100 years since the first recorded motorcycle officer death: John Slade of the Pasadena, CA, Police Department was killed on June 1st, 1909, when his department-issued motorcycle was struck by a train.

As usual, LawRide served as the kick-off to National Police Week 2011.

Upcoming on the National Police Week Schedule:

Monday, May 9th: 32nd Annual DC Area Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service, organized by the Fraternal Order of Police DC Lodge #1 Auxiliary. Begins at 11 AM at the Metropolitan Police Department Memorial Fountain, 300 Indiana Avenue, NW.

For more information about National Police Week 2011, including a complete schedule of events, visit

Saturday, May 7, 2011

20th Annual Corrections Officers Wreath Laying Ceremony and Honor Guard Competition

“The problem is that too many Americans take our correctional officers for granted.  Because they work primarily outside of the public view, most citizens simply never give much thought to the more than 500,000 men and women working so valiantly inside our prisons and jails—the incredible dangers they face, the sacrifices they endure, and the contributions they make to the safety of our communities and our nation.”

Today, those brave correctional officers were honored at the 20th Annual Corrections Officers Wreath Laying Ceremony and Honor Guard Competition, hosted by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund on the final day of National Correctional Employees Week.

Craig W. Floyd, Chairman & CEO of the Memorial Fund, was the guest speaker at the ceremony, along with Paul Quander, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety of the District of Columbia. Mr. Floyd read a roll call of corrections officers who died in the performance of duty, while officers marched to the center medallion and placed a single rose. A bell chimed after each name and at the end of the roll call, white doves were released into the skies above the Memorial as a symbolic tribute to the fallen heroes.

The names of 571 correctional officers now grace the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. These courageous heroes are forever remembered, and their light continues to shine through their memory, and through the selfless men and women who continue to serve each day.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

17th Annual Blue Mass

Today marks the unofficial start of National Police Week, as public safety and law enforcement officers from the Washington, DC metropolitan area converged at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, to honor and pray for law enforcement and fire safety officers fallen in the line of duty and those currently serving today.

As representatives from Federal and local law enforcement and public safety agencies entered the church, they were flanked by honor guards and pipe and drum corps units.

Blue Mass began in 1934, when police officers gathered to pray for their fallen comrades and seek God's blessing for their own safety. The tradition stopped in the mid-1970s but has since resumed in grander fashion than ever. The name "Blue Mass" comes from the traditional color of many officers' uniforms.

The principal celebrant and homilist for the Blue Mass was Reverend Monsignor Salvatore Criscuolo, Chaplain, D.C. First Responders.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Engraving Day 2011: Remembering Trooper Wesley Brown

Growing up in a rough and oftentimes dangerous area, Maryland State Trooper Wesley Washington John Brown experienced a great deal of violence in his young life — he was once stabbed and even shot in the leg. These experiences taught him the importance of safety and public service. Trooper Brown wanted to make a difference, which is why he took pride in becoming a law enforcement officer.

But Trooper Brown didn’t end his service there —as an adult, he created the group “Young Men Enlightening Younger Men,” to mentor teenagers to live a life free of violence and drugs. To help finance his mentoring program, Trooper Brown took a department-approved part-time job, working security at a local restaurant.

On the night of June 10, 2010, Trooper Brown, working his part time job, escorted a customer who refused to pay his bill to the parking lot outside the restaurant, when the suspect opened fire and fatally shot Trooper Brown. He died in the early morning of June 11th. He was only 24 years old and served with the Maryland State Police for four years.

Today, Trooper Brown’s colleagues, friends, and family gathered to formally unveil his name on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial as part of the annual Engraving Day ceremony.

In his opening remarks, Craig W. Floyd, Chairman & CEO of the Memorial Fund said, "As I look around these grounds, I see so many of his colleagues from the Maryland State Police and from surrounding agencies. That, to me, is the greatest tribute of all. These men and women will now be following in Wesley’s footsteps.

Maryland State Police Col. Terrence B. Sheridan lamented, “…Wesley was 24 years of age. We don’t know what he would have accomplished in his lifetime but we do know in a very short time he accomplished a lot. More than most people do in a life time… He was one of those Troopers that everyone enjoyed working with and being around.

After a short ceremony, the Maryland State Police Honor Guard led his friends and family over to panel 19-E. Two Troopers removed a blue curtain from the wall, and Trooper Brown’s mother, Patricia Bell, approached the wall, teary-eyed, to do an etching of her son’s newly engraved name followed by Trooper Brown’s father Sylvester Brown.  Also on hand were the Trooper’s sisters and brother.

As a testament to Trooper Brown’s life, several of the young men he mentored attended today’s ceremony. Eugene W. Grant, Mayor of Seat Pleasant, MD — Trooper Brown’s hometown — was also present to extend his well wishes, as was Ebony Norris, Trooper Brown’s fiancée, who currently serves with the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, DC.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Six-Year-Old Shea Supports Law Enforcement

When it comes to making a difference in your community, there are no age limitations. Shea, a motivated and driven six-year-old entrepreneur, is a prime example. According to The Official Lemonade Day Blog, she began making plans for her Lemonade Day stand when she learned about others who are less privileged. Shea decided she wanted to do something to help them.

Lemonade Day, held on the first Sunday in May each year in cities across America, is a fun, entrepreneurial and experiential learning program that teaches youth not only how to start their own business by operating a lemonade stand, but fundamental lessons about life, success and themselves.

After explaining her ideas for a Lemonade Day stand, her family members were quick to offer their support. Her mother agreed to help her with marketing, fundraising, and other logistics, while her grandmother helped her design a logo to print onto aprons, and her father lent a hand in building the stand.

While difficult to choose just one cause to support, Shea finally settled on The Twin Towers Initiative, which honors the 72 police officers killed on 9/11 and raises funds for the National Law Enforcement Museum, set to open in Washington, DC in 2013.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund recognizes and thanks Shea and all of our loyal supporters for their dedication to America’s law enforcement officers. It is thanks to the generosity of others that the National Law Enforcement Museum is being built to honor the admirable law enforcement profession and its heroes, both fallen and living.

For more on this story, go to:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Race to Remember 2010 Raises $10,000 for National Law Enforcement Museum

On Monday, Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO Craig Floyd was presented with a $10,000 check by the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, DC. The funds were raised at the 3rd Annual 2010 Race to Remember, held four months prior on Sunday, October 17, 2010.

Nearly 700 runners gathered at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial to race around the nation’s capital, showing their support for law enforcement officers by raising awareness and funds for the Memorial.

Chief Cathy Lanier thanked Memorial Fund staffers Mary Brown and Anne Kringen for their efforts in putting together the race, along with Assistant Chief Pat Burke and Officer Greg Alemian from MPD, and Marcello Muzzatti, President of the DC FOP Lodge #1.

After three years, the Race to Remember has raised over $30,000 to help build the National Law Enforcement Museum.

The Memorial Fund would like to thank each and every Race to Remember participant, all of our generous sponsors and supporters, the DC FOP Lodge #1, and the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, DC for their continued efforts in honoring America’s peace officers.

Monday, January 31, 2011

RECENTLY FALLEN: Correctional Officer Jayme Lee Biendl, Washington State Department of Corrections

At nearly 11:00 pm on Saturday January 29, Correctional Officer Jayme Lee Biendl was tragically found and pronounced dead in the Monroe Correctional Facility’s chapel, located about 30 miles northeast of Seattle, after paramedics’ unsuccessful attempts at resuscitation.

The 34-year-old officer had been assigned to prison chapel, and was discovered there after her radio and keys were noticed missing by workers at the Monroe Correctional Complex. According to authorities, she had been strangled by a microphone cord.

An inmate, who was reported missing during a routine count at approximately 9:14 pm, was later found in the chapel lobby and told officers he planned to escape. The prisoner, who is serving a life sentence, is suspected in the murder of Correctional Officer Biendl, and remains in custody in a segregation unit.   

One of the 17 officer fatalities reported in the first month of the New Year, eight-year-veteran Officer Jayme Lee Biendl is the first from Washington killed on duty, and the first officer killed by strangulation, in 2011. She is the second officer, and first-ever female officer, to be strangled to death in Washington recorded law enforcement history, the first being in 1920.

In an issued statement, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire said she had asked Department of Corrections Secretary Eldon Vail to thoroughly review the incident and look at the safeguards in place at the Monroe complex.

For more on this story, go to:

RECENTLY FALLEN: New York State Department of Correctional Services Corrections Officer Casimiro Pomales

Corrections Officer Casimiro Pomales died in an automobile collision on Friday January 28, 2011. Officer Pomales worked for the Eastern Correctional Facility in Ulster County, NY.

The 52-year-old officer and a fellow officer were transporting an inmate for medical treatment when a car swiped the prison van Officer Pomales was driving, causing it to flip. The two officers and the inmate were taken to a hospital where Officer Pomales succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.

The 22-year-veteran, also a U.S. Navy veteran, is survived by his wife and children.

"For more than 20 years, Officer Pomales served the people of New York, and I extend my heartfelt condolences to his wife, Dorothea, and their children, as well as his friends, and coworkers at Eastern Correctional Facility," said Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Officer Pomales is one of the 17 recorded fatalities in 2011, and one of the four traffic accident deaths to date.

For more information, go to:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

RECENTLY FALLEN: Indianapolis (IN) Metropolitan Police Officer David Moore

Three days after being shot during a traffic stop, Indianapolis (IN) Metropolitan Police Officer David Moore succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday January 26, 2011.

At approximately 9:00 am on Sunday (January 23), Officer Moore was administering a weekend traffic stop, when a suspect began releasing unprovoked gunfire, “striking him twice in the face, in the thigh, and just missing his spinal cord,” according to doctors, who said an additional shot was stopped by his bullet-resistant vest. The alleged gunman, a 60-year-old ex-convict and parolee suspect was taken into custody.

Rushed to a hospital, Officer Moore remained in a coma. The six-year veteran was taken off life support on Wednesday morning and died that day; his organs were donated after his death.

At a vigil held before hundreds of mourners, Indianapolis (IN) Mayor Greg Ballard spoke fondly about Officer Moore, fighting back tears. “He was just a terrific man, the kind of guy we'd want to wear the uniform, and now he's gone." Mayor Ballard urged members of the community to support the Moore family, and said in the coming days the city would celebrate "someone who looked out for all of us."

Officer Moore is the first officer fatality from Indiana in 2011. He is one of the 15 total fatalities recorded in the first month of the New Year, as well as one of the 11 gunfire-related officer deaths.

Officer David Moore is survived by his father and mother — a retired and an active member of the Indianapolis (IN) Metropolitan Police force — respectively. 

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RECENTLY FALLEN: St. Petersburg (FL) Sergeant Tom Baitinger and Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz

Just four days after the cluster killing of two Miami-Dade (FL) law enforcement officers, a violent attack struck yet another Florida police force, tragically taking the lives of St. Petersburg (FL) Sergeant Tom Baitinger and Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz. 

"On behalf of the City of Tampa, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of the officers, the larger family of the St. Petersburg Police Department, and to all the citizens of our sister city," Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio said.

The violent gunfire that erupted on Monday January 24, 2011, followed a sequence of shootings in the 24 hours prior, in which 11 peace officers were shot in five different states. Sergeant Baitinger and Officer Yaslowitz, along with a team of agents, dispatched to a St. Petersburg residence to serve a felony arrest warrant 

When officials arrived at the scene, the gunman was barricaded inside the attic of the home, and refused to appear despite pleading by officers. While Sergeant Baitinger remained on the main level to survey and to provide coverage, Officer Yaslowitz and a U.S. Marshal’s deputy entered the attic and were gunned down instantly. The suspect fired again from the attic below and struck Sergeant Baitinger. 

All three wounded lawmen were transported to a nearby hospital, where the Marshal’s deputy was treated for injuries and remained in stable condition. Regrettably, Sergeant Baitinger, 48, and Officer Yaslowitz, 39, succumbed to their fatal gunshot wounds. The alleged gunman died following the shootout. 

The St. Petersburg fatalities are the fourth and fifth for Florida — leading all 50 states in officer deaths, followed by Texas and Ohio — in the first month of 2011. Sergeant Baitinger and Officer Yaslowitz are two of the 14 total fatalities and join the list of officers killed by gunfire, which has now reached 11 thus far in 2011. These lawmen are also the ninth and tenth St. Petersburg (FL) officers killed by gunfire in the department’s recorded history. 

The 15-year veteran Sergeant Baitinger is survived by his wife. Officer Yaslowitz spent 12 years on the force and is survived by his wife and three children. 

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RECENTLY FALLEN: Columbus (OH) Division of Police Officer Tom Hayes

Over three decades ago, Columbus (OH) Division of Police Officer Tom Hayes suffered a gunshot wound during an attempt to arrest two teens on a curfew violation on December 18, 1979.

At approximately 2:25 am, Officer Hayes approached the teens to take them into custody, when a struggle transpired. During the altercation, the suspects removed a handgun and shot 30-year-old Officer Hayes in the back, paralyzing him from the waist down. 

Seven-year-veteran Officer Hayes suffered serious health issues the remainder of his life as a result of the shooting; one of his legs was amputated six years ago. After the incident, he continued to work as a civilian sketch artist for the Columbus (OH) Division of Police, until 31 years later, he finally succumbed to his injuries at the age of 61.

Officer Tom Hayes is one of the 15 officer fatalities recorded thus far in 2011, and one of two fatalities from Ohio. He is survived by his wife. “For all the pain and suffering and agony he has been through, he never showed it,” said Officer Hayes’ wife, Mary. “He was my hero.”

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