National Police Week
National Police Week 2013
THE DEADLINE FOR RETURNING SURVIVORS TO REGISTER HAS PASSED. WE ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTING REGISTRATIONS FOR RETURNING SURVIVORS.
WHO NEEDS TO REGISTER FOR NATIONAL POLICE WEEK
Current Year Survivors:
- All Surviving family members and friends of law enforcement officers being honored for their 2012 supreme sacrifice.
- The ONE officer per agency who has been assigned as the “Memorial Service Escort Officer” for a 2012 surviving family at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service and/or the head of the agency who will be attending National Police Week.
- All returning surviving family members and friends of law enforcement officers honored in prior years that plan to attend the National Police Survivors’ Conference, the Candlelight Vigil, and/or the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service.
- Surviving co-workers of law enforcement officers being honored for the 2012 supreme sacrifice. If you have a large group of co-workers needing a hotel room, please call the C.O.P.S. National Office for availability.
- Returning co-workers of law enforcement officers honored in prior years that plan to attend the National Police Survivors’ Conference, the Candlelight Vigil, and/or the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service. Co-workers participating in C.O.P.S. programs and wanting a hotel room in the C.O.P.S. room block will need to pay the returning survivor fee.
- Returning co-workers only planning to attend the Candlelight Vigil and/or National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service do not need to register for National Police Week. For hotel needs, contact Eileen Haines with Haines Hotel Services at 301-865-1631 or email Eileen@haineshotelservices.com.
Survivor Travel Plans for National Police Week
Survivors should plan to arrive at Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, DC. If you arrive at Dulles International Airport or Baltimore-Washington International Airport, the rates may be cheaper but you will be on your own to secure transportation to and from the airport to your assigned National Police Week hotel. Survivors who arrive on either May 12 or May 13, at Reagan National Airport will be met by local officers who will escort them through the airport, assist with luggage, and get the survivors to buses that will transport them to their National Police Week hotel.
A May 12 arrival date is highly recommended for West Coast residents since flying on May 13 would make it difficult for them to be in town in time to attend the events held the evening of May 13. Survivors who arrive on May 12 will have a down evening with no planned activities. They may choose to take in the DC sights or simply relax from their trip.
For flight planning purposes, it is also recommended that survivors return home on May 17, the official departure day, so they can take in all the National Police Week activities. If survivors do plan to leave immediately following the May 15 Memorial Service, you should be aware of the fact that the Memorial Service could last for 2 ½ hours, busing back to the hotel could take one hour, and security at the airport could take 1 ½ hours. Flights out of DC before 6:30 p.m. would not be recommended on May 15.
National Police Week Schedule
May 13, information on National Police Week Check-In and Candlelight Vigil
National Police Week Check-In and Orientation: On May 13, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. survivors will check-in and pick up information they will need for the coming days. The Plaza Ballroom of the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel will be the check-in location and surviving children who will take part in the “C.O.P.S. Kids/Teens” activities during National Police Week will need to check-in at the Upper Foyer of the Hilton Alexandria Hotel. Orientation sessions will be held every hour on the hour and it is highly recommended that first-year attendees attend one of these orientation sessions.
Shuttle bus service will run throughout the day from overflow hotels to the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel.
Past-year survivors will be denied on-site registration. Only survivors of 2012 can register on site and it is strongly recommended that all survivors pre-register.
Law Enforcement United Reception
A reception will be held to present all 2012 surviving law enforcement families with their memorial flag flown during Law Enforcement United’s 3-day, 250-mile bicycle ride to benefit C.O.P.S. The reception will start at 2:00 p.m. Although the reception is scheduled for 1 ½ hours, survivors can stop by, receive their flag, meet with the officer who rode with the flag, and then leave to prepare for the Candlelight Vigil.
The Annual Candlelight Vigil sponsored by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Busing from the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel, which is where the majority of current-year survivors will be housed, to the sight of the Annual Candlelight Vigil will begin at 5:00 p.m. and continue through to 7:00 p.m. Busing from the overflow hotels, where returning survivors, chapter representatives, and extended family members will be housed will begin at 5:00 p.m. The Vigil will begin at 8:00 p.m. and conclude at 9:00 p.m. Following a brief intermission, the reading of the newly-engraved names will begin and should conclude shortly after 10:00 p.m. Buses will be available to transport survivors back to their respective hotels.
May 14, the first day of the National Police Survivors’ Conference and C.O.P.S. Kids/Teens activities
May 14, will begin with an 8:00 a.m. continental breakfast. The continental breakfast will be held in the Lower Foyer of the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel for the surviving families.
For the children/step-children and the minor-aged siblings of fallen officers: Fallen officers’ children/stepchildren and siblings, from kindergarten through high school, will have the opportunity to attend grief counseling sessions, as well as age-appropriate fun and social activities. Kindergarten through high school aged survivors who are attending the program for their first or second time, will go to the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy on May 14 and the FBI Academy on May 16. Returning survivors 7th grade through high school who have attended the C.O.P.S. Kids/Teens activities three or more years will participate in a program tailored to the needs of the returning survivors. The program will include support group sessions and activities that will take place at The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center on May 14th and the Northern Virginia Emergency Vehicle Operations Center on May 16th. Parents will receive feedback on their child’s participation in the program from the counselors after National Police Week. Additional details for the C.O.P.S. Kids/Teens activities will be sent to the parent along with a request for additional information on the child. Children must be pre-registered and must attend both days of C.O.P.S. Kids/Teens events. This program is intended only for the surviving children/stepchildren and siblings of the fallen officer, currently in kindergarten through high school.
Day care will be provided for children/step-children and minor-aged siblings of fallen officers, infants through pre-school age children, at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on May 14. The National Police Week registration packet includes an area where these children can be registered for their visit. Pre-registration is mandatory.
There are no day care plans made for children who are NOT children/step-children of the fallen officers or minor-aged siblings of fallen officers. Here is information to consider and options available for the parents of these children:
- Since there is a lot of standing and walking involved with the events during National Police Week, you might consider leaving your children at home with relatives.
- Since there are no day care options available at the conference hotels due to liability issues, you might bring a caretaker with you to tend to your children while you attend the National Police Survivors’ Conference. The conference is planned for adults and children are not to attend the luncheons or the seminar sessions.
For the Surviving Adult Family Members: The opening session of the National Police Survivors’ Conference for the adult survivors attending National Police Week 2013 will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the Plaza Ballroom of the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel.
Following a short break, short sessions informing survivors about the C.O.P.S. Hands-On Programs planned for the summer and fall months will be held at various locations throughout the hotel. The National Police Week program book will cite exact locations. Lunch will begin at 12:00 noon and will bring everyone back to the Plaza Ballroom at the Hilton. The afternoon of May 14 will be spent in breakout sessions where surviving spouses will meet with other spouses, mothers with other mothers, fathers with other fathers, siblings with other siblings, adult children with other adult children, etc. The day’s sessions will conclude at 4:00 p.m.
At 4:30 p.m., one member of each surviving family that will have a fallen officer honored at the May 15 National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service is asked to meet with the Fraternal Order of Police and its Auxiliary in the Plaza Ballroom for a brief meeting on how families will be assembled the following day for the Memorial Service.
For Memorial Service Escort Officers: Beginning at 9:00 a.m., Memorial Service Escort Officers should plan to attend a short meeting with the Fraternal Order of Police and its Auxiliary. At this meeting Memorial Service Escort Officers will learn of their duties and responsibilities at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service.
For Affected Co-Workers: At 10:00 a.m. debriefing sessions will be held in various meeting rooms in the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel for co-workers affected by the death of a fallen officer. The National Police Week program book will cite specific locations for these sessions in the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel. These debriefing sessions will conclude around 12:30 p.m. Officers are on their own for lunch.
May 15, National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day
Definitions survivors will need to understand for May 15:
Current-Year Survivors: Any family member from a 2012 line-of-duty death and a few families whose officer has not been honored at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial on May 15. (These few families may have just recently had their Federal claim approved, making them eligible for honoring at the Memorial Service.)
Participating Family Members: will include the primary survivor as well as children, parents and siblings of the fallen officer. These members of the family will follow direction for their involvement as participating family members on May 15.
Non-Participating Family Members: will include extended family members (aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, sibling spouses, in-laws, etc.), friends and co-workers of the officer being honored. On May 15 these people will need to follow directions that will be printed for non-participating family members.
Memorial Service Escort Officers: The Memorial Service Escort Officer is the one officer who has been sent to Washington, DC, as the representative from the agency of the fallen officer for the specific purpose of escorting the surviving family during the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service on May 15.
The morning of May 15 may seem chaotic to some; but it is organized chaos! Returning survivors and extended family members are to take the first buses from their respective hotels at 8:00 a.m. to the Memorial Service site, the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. In the meantime, survivors of 2012 who will be participating in the flower placement at the Memorial Service, will gather at the Plaza Ballroom at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel and be assembled for the Roll Call of Heroes that will take place during the Memorial Service. A light fare breakfast will be provided to these survivors as they board the buses. The bus trip to the Capitol, once all the buses are loaded, should take about 20 minutes.
The Memorial Service will begin at 11:00 a.m. and could last as long as 2 ½ hours. If you will be bringing babies or infirmed relatives, please plan for their issues during this time frame.
May 16, second day of the National Police Survivors’ Conference and C.O.P.S. Kids/Teens activities
The morning of May 16 will begin with an 8:00 a.m. continental breakfast for survivors at the Hilton Alexandria Hotel.
For the Children/Stepchildren and the Minor-Aged Siblings of Fallen Officers: Fallen officers’ children/stepchildren and siblings, from kindergarten through high school, will have the opportunity to attend grief counseling sessions, as well as age-appropriate fun and social activities. Kindergarten through high school aged survivors who are attending the program for their first or second time, will go to the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy on May 14 and the FBI Academy on May 16. Returning survivors 7th grade through high school who have attended the C.O.P.S. Kids/Teens activities three or more years will participate in a program tailored to the needs of the returning survivors. The program will include support group sessions and activities that will take place at The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center on May 14th and the Northern Virginia Emergency Vehicle Operations Center on May 16th. Parents will receive feedback on their child’s participation in the program from the counselors after National Police Week. Additional details for the C.O.P.S. Kids/Teens activities will be sent to the parent along with a request for additional information on the child. Children must be pre-registered and must attend both days of C.O.P.S. Kids/Teens events. This program is intended only for the surviving children/stepchildren and siblings of the fallen officer, currently in kindergarten through high school.
For Surviving Family Members and Affected Co-Workers: Breakout sessions for adult surviving family members and affected co-workers will begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 11:45 a.m. Lunch will be provided to survivors in the Plaza Ballroom beginning at 12:00 noon. The National Police Survivors’ Conference will end at 2:30 p.m. and will give survivors a few short hours to unwind until the final event of National Police Week 2013, the Picnic on the Patio at the Hilton.
Picnic on the Patio
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Concerns of Police Survivors hosts the Picnic on the Patio at the Hilton to close out National Police Week. There will be activities to entertain everyone. Dinner will be at 6:00 p.m. and music and dancing will follow to help you unwind from a difficult week. Returning survivors must pay the returning survivors’ fee in order to attend Picnic on the Patio at the Hilton.
May 17, Official Departure Day
The official departure day is May 17. C.O.P.S. will have presented each hotel’s concierge with departure times for survivors’ flights (if provided on the survivors’ registration forms) so the hotel can plan accordingly. Survivors will take the hotel shuttle vans to Reagan National Airport for their departing flight.
National Police Week & The National Police Survivors Conference
Each May during National Police Week activities in Washington, DC, C.O.P.S. hosts the National Police Survivors' Conference. Law enforcement survivors from all across the nation gather for in-depth grief work and issue-oriented information sharing.
Break-out seminar sessions are offered so that survivors with like concerns and issues can work together, finding solutions to their common problems. Special sessions are offered for surviving co-workers, significant others, fiancés, and extended family members as well. Children under the age of 18 can participate in the "C.O.P.S. Kids/Teens" Program.
Examples of sessions include:
Organizing a C.O.P.S. Chapter and Keeping it Healthy
Surviving the Crisis as a Couple
Reaching Out to the Newly Bereaved
Am I Still a Brother/Sister?
Making it Through the First Two Years (Spouses, Fiancés, Significant Others, and Life Partners only)
Defining the Role of the Liaison Officer
Law Enforcement Death is Always so Traumatic, Why?
Preparing for Trial and the Aftermath
Journaling Your Way Through Grief
Tactics for Preventing Chronic Depression
Moving Forward with Clarity: The “Dear God” Letter
Being a Law Enforcement Officer and a Family Survivor
Co-Workers and Families-Easing Each Other’s Pain
Loss and Grief-Why Do I Feel This Way
Creating a Caring Agency
Blue Ribbon Campaign
During National Police Week (the calendar week that includes May 15), C.O.P.S. encourages the display of blue ribbons on car antennas. C.O.P.S. distributes over 1,000,000 blue ribbons for National Police Week. Law enforcement personnel are encouraged to tie blue ribbons to cruiser antennas. Citizens are encouraged to tie blue ribbons to their car antennas. These blue ribbons are a reminder of law enforcement personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice and in honor of those men and women who serve their communities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year in and year out. Any strip of royal blue ribbon will work.
History of National Police Week
Little did anyone know back in October, 1962, that it would take 20 years for any police group to actually celebrate National Peace Officers' Memorial Week.
In August, 1981, newly-elected National Secretary of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Auxiliary, Suzie Sawyer, made a motion at the FOP Auxiliary National Post-Conference Board Meeting to sponsor a National Peace Officers' Memorial Day Service. After much discussion about the activity being too much for this small organization to handle, newly-elected National President Trudy Chapman "vacated her position" as President and talked to the group about the need for the Auxiliary to have a national project to support the law enforcement profession. After a vote of the National Auxiliary Board at that meeting, the first National Peace Officers' Memorial Day Service was held in Washington, DC, on May 15, 1982, on Capitol Hill in the small, beautiful "Senate Park". Only 125 people attended, but the activity proved to be promising. Then FOP National President Leo Marchetti vowed the FOP's support in increasing attendance at that activity.
On the eve of the second National Peace Officers' Memorial Day Service on May 14, 1983, much to the surprise of police officers and Auxiliary members who planned to attend, ten young widows came to Washington, DC, to attend that Memorial Day Service. Once the survivors began meeting with police officers, emotions started to flow. The women from the Auxiliary were asked to serve as hostesses for these survivors and the women all left the host hotel to find a nice, quiet place where everyone could talk.
After several hours of open discussion about their new life following the traumatic death of their police officer, the surviving spouses realized they had now become "the bad reminder of law enforcement's ultimate demand." All too often, they talked about abandonment by the agency that once promised they would always be part of the police family. Following the emotional discussion, a young police survivor by the name of Lynn Bolton from Eau Claire, WI, came forward to talk with Suzie Sawyer and Trudy Chapman about what had just transpired at that meeting of survivors. "This is the greatest thing that has happened to me in the past year," the young widow said. "I have finally found people who understand what I am having to deal with. Next year couldn't we have a seminar?"
Suzie Sawyer replied, "And what would we talk about -- death?"
"Yes", was Lynn Bolton's response. "Somebody needs to talk about death in law enforcement!"
So on May 14, 1984, the first National Police Survivors' Seminar was held. The luncheon was sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police. At that seminar the survivors felt such a tremendous closeness that they voted unanimously to organize their own national, peer- support organization. Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc. was born on that day.
Later that year in October of 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the legislation that allowed the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund to begin raising money for an appropriate monument in Washington, DC, honoring the fallen law enforcement officers of America. That effort was spearheaded by Congressman Mario Biaggi, a Democrat from New York who was the most highly-decorated police officer in the history of the New York Police Department. Senator Claiborn Pell was also offered an honorary position on that board since he was instrumental in seeing that legislation passed through the U.S. Senate.
In 1989, the first annual Candlelight Vigil was held at the site of the soon-to-be constructed National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Judiciary Square in Washington, DC. In October, 1991, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial was dedicated by President George Bush. Today that Memorial Wall carries the names of over 16,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
While police agencies may have celebrated National Police Week on the local level years ago, today there is a new heightened awareness of National Police Week.
Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc. distributes a half million blue ribbons for law enforcement agencies to tie to their car antennas to call national attention to this day; the U.S. Congress has passed legislation that allows the U.S. flag to be flown at half staff on May 15; numerous police organizations hold memorial services locally, regionally, and on a statewide level during that week; police departments may have open houses, SWAT team demonstrations, etc. to promote National Police Week.
Whereas, The Congress and President of the United States have designated May 15 as Peace Officers' Memorial Day, and the week in which May 15 falls as National Police week; and
Whereas, the members of the law enforcement agency of (municipality) play an essential role in safeguarding the rights and freedoms of (municipality); and
Whereas, it is important that all citizens know and understand the duties, responsibilities, hazards, and sacrifices of their law enforcement agency, and that members of our law enforcement agency recognize their duty to serve the people by safeguarding life and property, by protecting them against violence and disorder, and by protecting the innocent against deception and the weak against oppression; and
Whereas, the men and women of the law enforcement agency of (municipality) unceasingly provide a vital public service;
Now, therefore, I, (title) of (municipality), call upon all citizens of (municipality) and upon all patriotic, civic and educational organizations to observe the week of May (date) - (date), (year), as Police Week with appropriate ceremonies and observances in which all of our people may join in commemorating law enforcement officers, past and present, who, by their faithful and loyal devotion to their responsibilities, have rendered a dedicated service to their communities and, in so doing, have established for themselves an enviable and enduring reputation for preserving the rights and security of all citizens.
I further call upon all citizens of (municipality) to observe (day), May (date), as Peace Officers' Memorial Day in honor of those law enforcement officers who, through their courageous deeds, have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their community or have become disabled in the performance of duty, and let us recognize and pay respect to the survivors of our fallen heroes.
In witness thereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the (municipality) to be affixed.