4 Ways For Your Agency to Support Police Officers During Police Week
Date:Sunday April 25, 2021
National Police Week began in 1962 as a way to honor those who have lost their lives while serving in law enforcement and for survivors and police officers to gather for solidarity and to gain resources and support. Over the years, this week in May has become important to tens of thousands of participants, with in-person events drawing between 25,000 and 40,000 attendees. This year, to be cautious, virtual events will take place in May with an in-person experience planned for October.
Even with in-person events unavailable this May, there are ways to support police officers in your agency or in partnering agencies in your community. Here are some of those ways to show solidarity and support.
Join Them in Remembering the Fallen
If police officers in your community are creating their own vigil for police officers who have lost their lives this year, consider participating as a demonstration of support from across agencies. If you haven’t considered creating a local candlelight vigil of this kind, talk to other leadership team members and see what could be done to create one locally.
Share Stories of Police Officers’ Commitment and Honor
If your agency already runs positive messaging through social media, this is a wonderful week to let stories of police bravery, compassion, and strength be the focus. Commemorative spotlights for those who have lost their lives in the line of duty this year can remind those who care about that person deeply that their sacrifice lives on in the lives they’ve touched.
Advocate For Strong Mental Health Resources for Police Officers
Supporting police officers includes but does not end with grief support and remembrance. If your agency can lead the way on offering robust mental health support to your team that gives first responders strength and hope, you’re paving the way for a better experience for both police officers and other first responders.
Ask About All They’ve Gained From Participation in Police Week
If an individual police officer you know has attended Police Week, a great way to keep the memory of the experience alive is to have them share the parts of it that were valuable. Obviously, not everyone will be interested in a big group meeting, but if someone is willing to make a short presentation to your agency’s team, the lessons learned could be very helpful for inter-agency cooperation and understanding.
Resources to Learn More and Share: