The annual Police Week festivities in May will feature several traditions designed to recognize and honor the vaunted and ever-dangerous job of being a police officer.
Many of the traditions are devoted to remembering police officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Those events unfurl in Houston, Austin and Washington, D.C., where a week-long number of events start with the May 13 candlelight vigil at the National Mall.
“National Police Memorial Day is always May 15,” HPOU 2nd Vice President Tim Whitaker said, “and on this day officers killed in the line of duty will be honored and remembered on the Capitol grounds.
“As in years past the HPD and the HPOU will be sending representation from the department to honor two of our own, Bill Jeffrey and John Wilbanks.”
Assist the Officer is sending Officers Christopher McCain and Raul Munoz, who were the top patrol officer and investigator, respectively, for 2021. McCain is the officer credited with saving the life of Officer Sam Cleveland, who was shot out in Kingwood. Officer Munoz arrested and charged a suspect with sexually assaulting a non-verbal, autistic juvenile.
In Houston, Police Week events start Tuesday, May 3 with the Police Week Awards Luncheon at the Downtown Aquarium Restaurant, 410 Bagby. The festivity features Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston Police Foundation President Tilman Fertitta. The outstanding HPD individuals from the desks to the streets and everywhere in between will be recognized.
On Wednesday, May 4 from 10 a.m. until sundown there will be a Day of Prayer open to the public on the front steps of HPD headquarters at 1200 Travis.
And on Friday, May 6 there will be the traditional program at the Houston Police Memorial just down Memorial Drive from the HPOU.
Following tradition, the HPOU will hold a reception for the survivors of HPD officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, starting at 4:30 p.m. in the Breck Porter Building. These honorees will either walk or be driven to the Memorial for a 7 p.m. memorial service, emceed by Khambrel Marshall of KPRC-Channel 2.
National Police Week offers honor, remembrance and peer support, while allowing law enforcement, survivors, and citizens to gather and pay homage to those who gave their lives in the line of duty.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in several planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Decades later, the event, more commonly known as National Police Week, has grown to a series of events which attracts thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to our Nation’s Capital each year.
National Police Week draws in between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees. The attendees come from departments throughout the United States as well as from agencies throughout the world. This provides a unique opportunity to meet others who work in law enforcement. In that spirit, the