Police Week 2024

Bryan Yant

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 Police Week. Currently, 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. This year, Police Week officially begins May 12 and continues until May 18.

Every year, the PPA is able to send several members to Washington, D.C., to attend the ceremonies to honor our fallen. The selection criteria are as follows. One general member is selected to attend from a pool of members who have attended membership meetings in the previous year. One member is selected to attend on behalf of our charity L.E.A.F. This member has contributed to our charity throughout the previous year. Finally, one member of our Board of Directors and one member of our Delegates have been selected to attend as well.

Kicking off Police Week on May 12 is the Top Cops Awards ceremony presented by the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO). NAPO receives nominations from law enforcement associations and police officers from across the country. The nominated officers and events proceed through a screening process consisting of a panel of board members from NAPO, as well as a celebrity committee and congressional committee. The committees ultimately select the 2024 Top Cops Awards recipients, which consist of the top 10 officers or events from the previous year. The remainder of the nominations can be recognized as honorable mention recipients. 

This year, the PPA is proud to honor and recognize our honorable mention recipients, Police Officers Rudy Sacba (P# 19221) and Joseph Belmonte (P# 14991). (Note: These P#s are not part of the P# contest.)

On Sunday, May 12, members of the Police Unity Tour (PUT) honor all those who have fallen in the line of duty. Every year, members of law enforcement, along with survivors of line-of-duty deaths from across the United States unite for a massive ride that pays tribute to fallen law enforcement heroes. “They ride for those who died.” These committed men and women pay tribute to this year’s fallen officers at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

Each year, hundreds of names of officers killed in the line of duty are engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. These names are then read aloud during the annual Candlelight Vigil to memorialize those who made the ultimate sacrifice. 2024 will mark the 36th Annual Candlelight Vigil, which will take place on Monday, May 13, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

If you have never attended the ceremonies of Police Week, it truly is an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience. Being around thousands of police officers and showing support for the fallen will leave you humbled and extremely proud of our profession. To see a full schedule of events, go to nleomf.org.