Law Enforcement Appreciation Day: A Day to Say ‘Thanks’

Across the country on January 9th each year, citizens take the lead to show support on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

Law Enforcement Officers of every rank and file have chosen a profession that puts their life on the line every day for their communities.  They’ve answered a call to public service that is demanding and often unappreciated.

From local, state, and federal, their duties command dedication. The jobs are often thankless and take them away from their families for long hours. Rarely do they know what their days have in store for them. Often law enforcement are the only paid emergency resource a community has. More often they work in coordination with other local, state, and federal organizations to make communities safer.

On National Law Enforcement Day, we have an opportunity to thank them for their service and offer a token of respect.

HOW TO OBSERVE #LawEnforcementAppreciationDay

There are several ways to show your support. Send a note of thanks to your local, county or state police agency. Wear blue, turn your social media channels blue or shine a blue porch light to show your support. Find more ideas at Concerns of Police Survivors and share your support using #NationalLawEnforcementAppreciationDay to share on social media.  

NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT APPRECIATION DAY HISTORY

Several organizations came together to create National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day in 2015 to thank officers across the country for all the daily sacrifices they make for their communities. This holiday was triggered by the chain of events in 2014, when a police officer was involved in a crossfire shooting in Missouri. The backlash and violence that followed this event led Concerns of Police Survivors(C.O.P.S.) to take the initiative to change this negative portrayal of police officers in the news in recent years into a positive one.

Some of the organizations supporting the observance include:

  • FBI National Academy Associates
  • Fraternal Order of Police
  • International Association of Chief of Police
  • Officer Down Memorial Page
  • Law Enforcement United
  • National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
  • International Conference of Police Chaplains
  • National Troopers Coalition

Since then the inaugural celebration, nationwide many more organizations have joined forces to support National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.) to spread encouragement and respect to these dedicated men and women.

A LITTLE LAW ENFORCEMENT HISTORY

1636  – Policing in Colonial America had been very informal, based on a for-profit, privately funded system that employed people part-time. Towns also commonly relied on a “night watch” in which volunteers signed up for a certain day and time, mostly to look out for fellow colonists engaging in prostitution or gambling. (Boston started one in 1636, New York followed in 1658 and Philadelphia created one in 1700.)    

1838 – ​The first publicly funded, organized police force with officers on duty full-time was created in Boston.

1844 – New York City establishes a municipal police force.

1857 – New York leads the way with adopting the first detective unit.

1905 – Pennsylvania becomes the first state to establish a state police force, as recommended by Theodore Roosevelt to help control the numerous labor riots going on in the state’s hill country.

1920s – Berkeley, California’s police force gets ahead of the curve by adopting centralized and consistent training, communications, and order throughout its police force.

1933​ – T​he Bayonne​, New Jersey​ Police Department ​​initiated the first regular two-way police radio communication in patrol cars.

NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT APPRECIATION DAYS AROUND THE WORLD

Around the world, police officers and rangers watch over and protect their communities. In return, this is how their hard work is celebrated!

  • Armenia Police Workers Day – A day to commemorate the Police of Armenia personnel. It’s celebrated on April 16.
  • Canada – Police and Peace Officers National Memorial DayMembers of the Canadian law enforcement are honored. It is observed on the last Sunday of September
  • China – The Day of the People’s Armed Police, created as a result of sharing of power between the Ministry of Public Security and the People’s Liberation Army, and is commemorated June 19
  • Egypt National Police Day – The lives of 50 police officers who were killed after refusing British demands on January 25, 1952 are paid tribute to each year on January 25.
  • Romania Police Day – The holiday celebrates the flag of the Romanian Police and everything it stands for on March 25 each year.

LAW ENFORCEMENT FACTS

  • There are more than 800,000 sworn law enforcement officers now serving in the United States, which is the highest figure ever. About 12 percent of those are female.

  • Crime fighting has taken its toll. Since the first recorded police death in 1786, there have been more than 22,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Currently, there are 22,217 names engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

  • A total of 1,627 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 54 hours or 163 per year. There were 135 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2019.

  • According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report 2018 LEOKA report:
    There have been 58,866 assaults against law enforcement officers in 2018, resulting in 18,005 injuries.

  • The 1920s were the deadliest decade in law enforcement history, when a total of 2,517 officers died, or an average of almost 252 each year. The deadliest year in law enforcement history was 1930, when 312 officers were killed. That figure dropped dramatically in the 1990s, to an average of 163 per year.

  • The deadliest day in law enforcement history was September 11, 2001, when 72 officers were killed while responding to the terrorist attacks on America.

  • The New York City Police Department has lost more officers in the line of duty than any other department, with 941 deaths. Texas has lost 1,772 officers, more than any other state. The state with the fewest deaths is Vermont, with 24.

  • There are 1,181 federal officers listed on the Memorial, as well as 720 correctional officers and 44 military law enforcement officers.
  • There are 365 female officers listed on the Memorial; 11 female officers were killed in 2019.

 

Information was pulled from several websites, including:

National Police Foundation https://www.policefoundation.org/

National Day Calendar https://nationaldaycalendar.com/

National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund https://nleomf.org/

Officer Down https://officerdown.us/

United States Department of Justice https://www.justice.gov/

Time Magazine https://time.com/

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