Leadership Corner

National Police Week: Remembering those we’ve lost

May 13th, 2019 at 1:48PM
Portrait photo of Tracy Perry
Tracy Perry, Director, Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations, USDA Forest Service

This year, National Police Week will officially occur May 12–18.

During National Police Week, we pay tribute to all law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

This period of remembrance dates to 1962, when 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. Each year, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, D.C. to participate in a number of planned events honoring those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The Memorial Service for all those lost in the line of duty began in 1982 as a gathering of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement in Senate Park in Washington, D.C. Decades later, that event grew into what we now know as National Police Week. National Police Week today encompasses a series of events in honor of the fallen.

During this period, when we reflect on those we have lost, we should also remember losing a law enforcement officer in the line of duty affects many people in the process—family, friends and coworkers, as well as the community at large. I ask that you take a moment to honor those who have lost a loved one as well.

As the Director of Law Enforcement and Investigations for the USDA Forest Service, I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication our officers, agents and administrative professionals display every day, while ensuring the safety of those who use our National Forest System lands. Our mission is an essential one and all employees play a critical part in fulfilling it. As we perform our jobs, we do so anchored to our core values of service, conservation, interdependence, diversity and safety.

Additionally, I’m proud every day to witness our community policing-type approach appropriate to the people and communities we serve, our uncompromising integrity, our respect for the dignity of those we protect, our accountability for our actions and decisions, our commitment to diversity by ensuring that LE&I is an organization where all feel welcome and valued, and finally, our recognition of the outstanding accomplishments of our personnel.
If you get the chance this week, I encourage you to visit the Officer Down Memorial Page, US Forest Service Fallen Officers, and pay tribute to all our officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. If you’re in D.C. and interested in attending events, you can find a full list here.

I thank all our Law Enforcement and Investigations employees, who continue to serve with honor and integrity, for their courage, dedication, sacrifice and commitment to keeping our National Forest System lands and communities safe.