Peace Officers Memorial Day 2024 (US): History, FAQs, and Five Facts about Peace Officers

Peace Officers Memorial Day 2024 in Washington, D.C. honors peace officers who died or were disabled, featuring a memorial service, candlelight vigil, and various events to express gratitude.

Peace Officers Memorial Day 2024 (US): Peace Officers Memorial Day on May 15 honors state, local, and federal peace officers who died or were disabled while serving. Police Week in Washington, D.C., includes a memorial service, candlelight vigil, and statements honoring past and present officers. We’ve listed the day’s events and the best ways to thank peacekeepers because we owe so much.

Peace Officers Memorial Day: History

Peace Officers Memorial Day was formally observed for the first time in 1963, several months after the enactment of the measure by President John F. Kennedy in October 1962. Kennedy opened his statement in May 1963 by saying, “Law enforcement has contributed to this nation since its founding. ” However, the evolution of the peace officers we recognize and admire today occurred less long ago than one might expect.

Private enforcement officers were initially employed by affluent individuals in the United States to safeguard their assets. In the mid-1600s, public peace officers emerged initially in Boston and subsequently spread to New York and Philadelphia. The individuals who served as night watchmen and reported instances of misbehavior among fellow citizens were primarily volunteers.

In 1838, Boston established the first organized, publicly supported police force, which employed and paid peacekeepers full-time. By the late 1880s, all major U.S. cities had police forces, although their priorities differed by state to meet regional concerns. Local political leaders sometimes appointed law enforcement chiefs; thus, the enforcement system supported the prevailing party.

In 1929, as a reaction, President Hoover initiated an inquiry into the efficacy of law enforcement on a national scale. It stipulated that peace officers enforce the law in a professional and unbiased manner and marked a turning point in the history of the officers who now safeguard us. It promoted the May 15 Compassion Day celebrated today.

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Peace Officers Memorial Day: FAQs

Define a peace officer.

An individual employed in the public sector; a peace officer, is predominantly responsible for law enforcement. They consist of mayors, police officers, and sheriffs, among others.

Is it possible to peruse the names of fallen officers outside of Washington, D.C.?

You can peruse and locate the complete list of deceased officers commemorated on the Memorial via the Memorial website.

Do peace officers observe additional days in honor?

On National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, we honor our brave peace officers each January.

Five Facts about Peace Officers

  1. Early police officers disliked wearing insignia because they enforced local rules, which upset the public.
  2. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., commemorates almost 21,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty and dominates the day’s debate.
  3. The National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, D.C., adjacent to the Memorial, lets visitors experience peace officer life through “on-the-job” activities, including evidence collection and 9-1-1 emergency contact centers.
  4. Averaging one-third of their time, police officers devote to criminal law. Peacekeeping and problem-solving comprise the remaining two-thirds of their duties.
  5. There are currently more sworn law enforcement officers in service of the nearly 18,000 distinct agencies in the United States than ever before.

Peace Officers Memorial Day: Dates

2024May 15Wednesday
2025May 15Thursday
2026May 15Friday
2027May 15Saturday
2028May 15Monday

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