Tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to honor colleagues who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the protection of their communities. President Obama and U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) joined officers and their families on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday for an event to mark National Police Week and honor those whose names have been added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, including New Castle County Police Lieutenant Joe Szczerba, who was killed in the line of duty in September.
"The police officers who protect our communities have earned our profound respect and deep gratitude, and National Police Week is an important opportunity to honor their work and remember the sacrifices of those who have fallen in the line of duty," Senator Coons said. "National Police Week serves as an important reminder to Congress that we must continue to work to ensure that our agencies receive the resources they need to effectively protect our communities." Senator Coons is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a co-chair of the Senate Law Enforcement Caucus.
The names of the 163 police officers killed in the line of duty in 2011 have been added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, including Lt. Szczerba's.
"Joe Szczerba was a good person and great police officer whose spirit has been carried on by his family and his colleagues on the New Castle County police force," Senator Coons said. "As our nation pauses today to honor his memory, we are reminded that Delaware is truly blessed to have such great men and women risking their lives to protect our communities."
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as National Police Week. Between 25,000 and 40,000 people from departments throughout the United States and agencies around the world come to Washington to mark the day.