National Police Week – Thanking our Local Law Enforcement

May 15, 2023

Monday, May 15, is National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial Day and this week is National Police Week (May 14 – 20, 2023).

Here’s the history behind it:

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day (now known as Nation Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial Day) and the week in which that date falls as National Police Week.

Every year, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in planned events which honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The Memorial Service which began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement has grown into a much larger event and is more commonly known as National Police Week, with a week of events and thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers making the trip to our Nation’s Capital.

“Remember the fallen officers who lost their lives protecting others, not just this week but always,” said Laurens County Sheriff Don Reynolds. “When you see a deputy, thank them for their service. These men and women risk their lives daily to protect our community.”

You don’t have to travel to Washington, D.C. to show your appreciation for local law enforcement officers. Here are a few ideas to say “thank you.”

Say Thank You

The simplest gesture yet very underrated option. If you see a police officer or deputy around town, simply tell them that you appreciate the work they do, and thank them for keeping our community safe. It seems like such a small gesture but it’s one that can really make a big difference in an officer’s day.

Send a Note of Thanks

You can also send a thank you note to the station; outlining a few reasons why you value and respect the work they do every day. Even just a friendly wave when a police cruiser drives by is a nice way to show you care.

Pay for A Meal
It’s strongly encouraged that you check with them first even if through the wait staff, but paying for their meal when you see them dining in a restaurant is another nice gesture. Whether it’s just a coffee or an entire lunch, this is a great gesture and certainly shows your appreciation.

Make A Donation
Many departments have scholarships or memorial funds established and making a donation to one of them nice way to show your respect and appreciation. There are also plenty of organizations that assist injured officers or help the families of fallen officers. Donations to such organizations are meaningful in helping disabled officers or families of the fallen while also thanking local law enforcement.

Write a Letter to the Editor

It can be short but and just needs to get convey the message that the officers in the community put their lives on the line for everyone, and you want to thank them for that. Taking the time to write out a thoughtfully worded letter to the editor is an excellent way to show your support for your police department.

Share Your Positive Experience 

Did a law enforcement officer help you or your family recently? Express your gratitude for their efforts by sharing your positive story on social media. Uplifting stories, like officers going out of their way to assist someone, taking time to play basketball with children, or handling a delicate situation in a diplomatic way, deserves to be highlighted. Sharing our positive experiences with local law enforcement officers is a great way to help others understand their contributions in the community.

“Despite what some see on the news or read on social media, the vast majority of people appreciate and support law enforcement.   It is the small gestures, such as a smile, or a ‘thank you’ that mean the most to us.  Always remember that police are people and we will make mistakes because we are human,” said Chief Grounsell, Laurens Police Department. “As long as we had the right intentions, please show us grace and support in these times as well.  In return, we promise we will hold our men/women accountable and to the highest of standards. It is an honor to serve the public.”

Law enforcement officers don’t always get the respect and appreciation they deserve, but we can be a part of changing that. It isn’t always about the big shows of support, sometimes small acts of kindness are just as powerful. Let us remember those who have sacrificed all for the safety and well-being of others and let us acknowledge the risk taken by those who serve and thank them for their service.

“We appreciate the support of the community and the personal words of thanks and small gestures,” said Chief Ledda, Clinton Police Department. “The smallest gesture goes a long way in showing our officers they are appreciated.”

Thank you to the members of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Laurens Police Department, and the City of Clinton Police Department for all that you do to keep our community safe.

We appreciate you!