Each May, during National Police Week, the United States recognizes the service and sacrifice of U.S. law enforcement and pays tribute to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world visit Washington to participate in a number of special events. A candlelight vigil is held at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in honor of the law enforcement officers who have died that year.
The names engraved on the memorial include fallen officers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and federal law enforcement and military police agencies. This event, as well as a memorial service on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol Building, are open to the public.
In 2018, National Police Week runs from May 13 to May 19. The arrival ceremony and the 5K run happen in advance of National Police Week.
Schedule of National Police Week Events
- The FOP DC Lodge will be hosting daily events from Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lot 8 at RFK Stadium, 2400 East Capitol Street SE. There will be vendors, bar, and food service, along with music and entertainment.
- May 12, 2018: Police Unity Tour Arrival Ceremony begins at 2 p.m. at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The event is designed to raise awareness of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty and to raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum.
- May 12, 2018: National Police Week 5K happens before the week's events get underway. The race honors fallen law enforcement officers and raises money to support programs like No Parole for Cop Killers, Line of Duty Death Notifications, and ODMP K9.
- May 13, 2018: The 30th Annual Candlelight Vigil will be held 8 p.m. at the National Mall between Fourth and Seventh streets NW. No tickets are required and the event is open to the public. Parking is limited in the area. The closest Metro stops are Federal Center, L'Enfant Plaza, Archives-Navy Memorial, Smithsonian, and Federal Triangle.
- May 14 and 16, 2018: National Police Survivors Conference and C.O.P.S. Kids/Teens Sponsored by Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) takes place over two sessions at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia. Family and co-worker survivors have opportunities to receive support to understanding grief, prepare for trial, learn new coping skills, and build connections with others. School-aged children of fallen officers spend the day at Quantico taking part in activities specially tailored for their age.
- May 15, 2018: 37th Annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Service, sponsored by the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police and the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary, will be held on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. The service begins at 11 a.m. and lasts about two hours. Law enforcement attendees are encouraged to attend in dress uniform. All attendees will be required to go through metal detectors before entering the grounds of the Capitol. The Wreath Laying Ceremony will be held immediately following the memorial service.
- May 15 and 16, 2018: The Washington Nationals are honoring law enforcement officers with a law enforcement appreciation night at their game against the New York Yankees, which begins at 7 p.m.
The Memorial Fund
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a private, non-profit organization that is working to create the National Law Enforcement Museum to tell the story of American law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical artifacts and extensive educational programming.