Since 1962, every May on the week of the 15th we celebrate National Police Week. It is a time where everyone pays respects to law enforcement members who have lost their lives in the line of duty, as well as honoring those who serve in the present and past.
According to preliminary data compiled by National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), 458 members of law enforcement died in the line of duty. Compared to 295 who lost their lives in 2020, this is a 55% increase. Whether it was due to traffic accidents, shootings or COVID-related illness, last year had the highest total of fatalities since 1930.
Our mission that we keep at the forefront of our minds is to help police officers return home safely every day. We hope that our training can provide not only safer communities but safer members of law enforcement. While we cannot possibly stop every incident from happening, our goal is to reduce the frequency of the unfortunate injuries and deaths of our heroes.
As an annual tradition, NLEOMF schedules various events throughout the week and days prior that engage communities in commemorating officers. One way this is done is through the Annual Candlelight Vigil at the National Mall in Washington, DC. In 2022, this will take place Friday, May 13 at 8:00 pm EST. We believe this is a beautiful way to express appreciation and remembrance.
The staff at VirTra want to express our gratitude to all U.S. police officers for protecting our communities. It is also just as important to remember the lives lost on duty. So, we say once again to all active and retired first responders at local, tribal, state and federal levels: Thank you.