There’s nothing like navigating the sea of department-issued blues, browns and grays in early May, Washington, D.C. It’s the time when officers from remote townships and international forces, families and loved ones, travel, mourn, support and celebrate the fallen and each other. The sadness runs deep here, but there is also plenty of pride and admiration.
By the time this issue mails, another National Police Week will have come and gone. We would be remiss if we did not take a moment to acknowledge this important event. Although not everyone can hitch along with the Unity Tour, or hop on a bus or plane headed to the capital, that hasn’t stopped communities from marking the tradition in their own ways.
In West Des Moines, Iowa, Police Week was a picnic at the local law enforcement center. Citizens could check out emergency vehicles (including a bomb squad truck) and mounted patrol on display, enjoy a jump house, climbing wall, and food. Officers even passed out free bike helmets for kids.
Detroit police in the northeast district held a ‘Jazzy breakfast appreciation celebration’ with an all-you-can-eat buffet and live music for officers pre-, post- and mid-shift.
LAPD went high-tech with digital billboards paying tribute to officers Nicholas Lee, Chris Cortijo, Robert C. Sanchez and George Nagata, all of whom had lost their lives in the line of duty in the past two months.
Honolulu held an open-to-the-public memorial walk that ended in a candlelight vigil/memorial service, and the Sidney, Ohio Police Department honored a ‘2014 Police Officer of the Year’ while reiterating its department’s vision and mission statement.
Even small gestures aren’t lost. Dunkin’ Donuts issued free coffee to Denver-area officers all week.
Look for more Police Week coverage next month. Until then, read about how to train on a dime in this month’s issue, where we focus on firearms and equipping the officer. Lindsey Bertomen has three new shooting drills that agencies can do with minimal equipment or expense.
To follow that up, defensive tactics pro Richard Nance imparts ‘15 Tips for Close Quarters Shootings’. There are a number of instances where an officer must get up close and personal with a subject. Think traffic stop, making an arrest, or a verbal confrontation. “Up-close” can be a deadly place, and the right physical maneuvering just might save a life. For more on Nance’s defensive tactics techniques be sure to peruse Officer.com’s Video Spotlight section.
Celebrating Police Week not only provides a service to coworkers and family who feel LODD loss deeply. It is important, too, for the public who may not always have an opportunity to express their gratitude for all you do.