Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Law Enforcement Ambassador Spotlight: Sergeant Joe Flanagan, Alhambra (CA) Police Department

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund enjoys the support of a special group of volunteers: Law Enforcement Ambassadors and Guardians. Law Enforcement Ambassadors are active and retired law enforcement officers from city, state, federal and military law enforcement agencies, while Law Enforcement Guardians are volunteers who support and honor law enforcement but are not sworn officers, allowing citizens, family members and corporate supporters to work closely with the Memorial Fund in achieving their goals.

This month we recognize Sergeant Joe Flanagan of the Alhambra (CA) Police Department, who has been a longtime friend and supporter of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and National Law Enforcement Museum. Joe serves on the Board of Directors for the Police Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) and is a past President of the Alhambra Police Officers Association. In 2008, Joe was instrumental in working with the Alhambra POA to donate $12,500 to the Museum campaign to fund a bench that will be located in the Main Concourse of the Museum and will bear the name 'Alhambra Police Officers Association.'

Alhambra (CA) Police Sergeant Joe Flanagan

As a Memorial Fund Ambassador, Joe takes his role very seriously and volunteers his time to help support our work. Additionally, every year for the past several years, Joe has organized groups of Alhambra officers and police department staff to attend National Police Week. This year’s Police Week was especially important to Joe and his fellow officers, as one of their own was honored. The Alhambra P.D. suffered a great loss on July 10, 2011, when Officer Ryan Embert Stringer died in the line of duty in an automobile crash.  

Sgt. Joe Flanagan is the ideal example of what it means to be a Law Enforcement Ambassador. Joe is a true friend and leader, who we are honored to have as part of the Memorial Fund team.

If you would like to contribute to the Memorial Fund's efforts in your own way, please contact John Shanks at 202.737.8529 or JShanks@nleomf.org.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thank You, USA Today, for Honoring our Fallen Heroes

When it comes to honoring the memory of our nation’s fallen law enforcement heroes, the Gannett Co. gets it.

For the fourth year in a row, the company’s flagship newspaper, USA Today, has donated a quarter-page ad paying tribute to officers killed in the line of duty.

The ad, which appeared on page 5B of the May 14th edition, lists the names of all 163 officers who died in law enforcement service during 2011. And it reminds the family members, loved ones and colleagues of the fallen that a grateful nation will always remember these brave men and women.

Thank you, Gannett and USA Today, for honoring our heroes during National Police Week

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

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 2012 — Sunday, May 13th through Saturday, May 19th.

At the conclusion of the 31st 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.

At midnight, a lone piper will walk through the Memorial, and the flags will be returned to full staff, signaling the end of Peace Officers Memorial Day.

Monday, May 14, 2012

18th 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.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

24th Annual Candlelight Vigil

Tonight, the nation paused to formally dedicate the names of 362 fallen law enforcement heroes, added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in 2012. Of the 362 names, 163 were officers killed in the line of duty during 2011 and 199 were names of officers previously undiscovered.

Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, and U.S. Attorney General, Eric H. Holder, Jr., delivered remarks. Attorney General Holder and Concerns of Police Survivors National President, Linda Moon Gregory, led the lighting of the candles.

Detective Brian Phillips, La Porte (IN) Police Department; Lieutenant Mavis Johnson, Baton Rouge (LA) Police Department; and Officer Bridget Sanchez, Miami-Dade (FL) Police Department, all performed moving musical tributes during the ceremony.

The national monument now contains the names of 19,660 fallen law enforcement officers—from all 50 states; the District of Columbia; U.S. territories; federal law enforcement, corrections, railroad and military police agencies—who have died in the performance of duty throughout U.S. history, dating back to the first known officer death in 1791.

Special thanks to Officer.com for providing a free webcast of tonight’s services.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Police Unity Tour 2012

Shortly after 2 pm this afternoon, over 1400 members of the Police Unity Tour completed their long journey to Washington, DC. Participants traveled hundreds of miles the past three days—from six spokes in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

Friends, family and supporters gathered at the Memorial, waving signs and cheering on the participants as they finished the long ride.

After all riders had entered the Memorial, a brief ceremony was held, and Florham Park (NJ) Chief Patrick Montuore, founder of the Police Unity Tour, presented a check for $1.65 million to Craig W. Floyd, Chairman & CEO of the NLEOMF—the highest amount raised in the history of the Police Unity Tour.

The NLEOMF thanks all the members of the Police Unity Tour, who work tirelessly to ensure the service and sacrifice of America's law enforcement heroes are forever remembered. Their generosity, commitment, and unity are vital to honoring all 19,660 officers killed in the line of duty.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Police Unity Tour to Arrive at National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on Saturday, May 12th

This morning, members of the Police Unity Tour began their four day journey to Washington, DC—a solemn ride in honor of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. This year, over 1,400 participants of the Police Unity Tour will make their way to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

The Police Unity Tour is comprised of six “spokes” which leave from points in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Three spokes began their journey this morning and three will begin their ride tomorrow. The Tour’s six spokes will converge in Washington, DC on May 12th when they will ride into the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial at approximately 2:00 pm to the cheers of thousands of family, friends, colleagues 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, the Police Unity Tour will stop at 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 www.facebook.com/nleomf and on twitter @nleomf.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

18th Annual Blue Mass

Today 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 killed 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 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 His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl.

Next up: Police Unity Tour Kick-off Ceremonies happening in New Jersey and Virginia.  For more information about National Police Week 2012, including a complete schedule of events, visit www.LawMemorial.org/PoliceWeek.

Monday, May 7, 2012

33rd Annual Washington Area Police Memorial Service

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) of Washington, DC, the Fraternal Order of Police DC Lodge #1, and the DC Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors hosted the 33rd Annual Washington Area Police Memorial Service at MPD’s Headquarters in downtown DC.


This annual service recognizes the service of all DC Metro area law enforcement officers. Special recognition was given to three officers, Sergeant Michael Boehm, United States Park Police; Officer William Torbit Jr., Baltimore City Police Department; and Trooper First Class Shaft Hunter who made the ultimate sacrifice in 2011.

Introductory remarks were given by Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier, followed by guest speakers Vincent Gray, Mayor of the District of Columbia and Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Representatives from Baltimore City Police Department, the United States Park Police, and the Maryland State Police spoke about their officers lost in the past year, which was followed by a solemn roll call of fallen heroes from the DC Metro area.

As the names were read, survivors, law enforcement officers and friends placed blue roses along the edge of the fountain at the Washington Law Enforcement Memorial. As a special tribute, two helicopters, one from MPD and one from the US Park Police conducted a ceremonial fly-over at the end of the service.

The names of the three officers honored at the service today will be dedicated on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial at the 24th Annual Candlelight Vigil this Sunday, May 13th at 8:00 pm, along with 359 other officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice and whose names were added in 2012.

Next up: 18t Annual Blue Mass at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. For more information about National Police Week 2012, including a complete schedule of events, visit www.LawMemorial.org/PoliceWeek.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

21st Annual Correctional Officers Wreath Laying Ceremony

Today, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Corrections Chiefs Committee gathered at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial to honor correctional officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice—including seven correctional officers killed in 2011 and 21 fallen correctional officers from the DC metro area.

Every year since the Memorial was dedicated in October 1991, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Corrections Chiefs Committee has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial honoring correctional officers from the DC Metropolitan region and around the nation for their service and sacrifice.  More than 500,000 brave men and women currently work so valiantly inside our prisons and jails, contributing to the safety of our community and nation.

This year’s ceremony included guest speakers Craig W. Floyd, Chairman & CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, and Patrick A. Burke, Assistant Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, DC.

After brief remarks, the roll call of fallen heroes was solemnly read aloud, as members of the participating honor guards carried red roses to the center medallion of the Memorial. After each flower was placed, a single bell tolled. In a traditional symbolic gesture, white doves were released at the end of the ceremony, and a wreath was placed at the medallion.

Tomorrow marks the start of National Correctional Officers’ and Employees Week (May 6-12, 2012), which was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. Proclaiming the first-ever National Correctional Officers Week on May 5, 1984, President Reagan called “upon officials of State and local governments and the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

In 1996, Congress officially changed the name of the week to National Correctional Officers and Employees Week.  The names of 585 correctional officers are engraved on 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.

The Correctional Peace Officer Foundation will hold a ceremony scheduled for June 8, 10:00 am at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.