National Police Week - May
(Last Updated On: November 9, 2022)


Each year during the week of May 15th, National Police Week recognizes law enforcement officers’ contributions throughout the nation. Every day they put on their uniforms, not knowing what the day holds. They have answered a call to public service that is demanding and often unappreciated.

While the keynote events for National Police Week occur in Washington, D.C., the whole nation can participate. Directed at honoring the fallen and supporting survivors and their families, the week-long observance includes tributes, candlelight vigils, seminars addressing grief, programs for every age group, a gala, and a memorial service.

When is Peace Officers Memorial Day?

One tradition includes retired and active-duty members of law enforcement cycling into Washington, D.C., bearing flags for each fallen officer. Promoted by Law Enforcement United, the event kicks off the week’s events.

The Fraternal Order of Police and its Auxiliary organizes the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service each year. The solemn service honors fallen peace officers across the nation. National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund organizes a candlelight vigil where families and survivors pay tribute and read fallen officers’ names. Each year, fallen peace officers’ names are engraved on Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalPoliceWeek

Participate in National Police Week by honoring fallen peace officers in your communities and supporting survivors and their families. Other ways you can show your support include:

  • Many chapters of Fraternal Order of Police Lodges (FOP) host memorial services locally. Check with your chapters for schedules of services and events.
  • Recognize and support the services provided by your local police departments.
  • Turn on a blue light in support of law enforcement.
  • Wear something blue all week long. You can also turn your social media profile blue to show your support.
  • If you see an officer out for dinner, buy their meal. You don’t even need to let them know. Just flag the waitress or hostess, ask for their tab, and pay the bill before leaving.
  • Post a thank you note to their social media page.
  • Share a positive story about a law enforcement officer you know.

Use #NationalPoliceWeek to share on social media.


On October 1, 1961, Congress asked President John F. Kennedy to designate May 15th to honor peace officers. In 1962, President Kennedy declared Peace Officers Memorial Day to be observed on May 15th and recognized May 15th as National Police Week. In 1994, Bill Clinton made an amendment through Public Law 103-322 that directed the United States flag to be flown at half-staff on May 15th in honor of the day.

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