In honor of National Police Week, Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom and Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie recognize the service and sacrifice of all law enforcement. This week will be observed through Saturday, May 16th with tonight's vigil livestreamed to the public at 7:00 p.m.
“The brave men and women who protect our communities each day are to be commended. There is no profession more noble than serving in law enforcement." said Sheriff Tim Leslie. “This week, we pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty," he added.
And they do so not only in the face of hostility from those who reject our nation's commitment to the rule of law, but also in the face of evolving adversity – such as an unprecedented global health pandemic. Please join us in showing your appreciation to our local, state and nation's law enforcement officers. Their devotion and sacrifice to our peace and security will not be taken for granted.
Dakota County Attorney Backstrom commented: “We salute our law enforcement partners who each day put themselves on the front lines to keep us safe."
In 1962, President Kennedy issued the first proclamation for Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week to remember and honor law enforcement officers for their service and sacrifices. Peace Officers Memorial Day, which every year falls on May 15, specifically honors law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty.
Each year, during National Police Week, our nation celebrates the contributions of law enforcement from around the country, recognizing their hard work, dedication, loyalty and commitment to keeping our communities safe. This year the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored law enforcement officers' courage and unwavering devotion to the communities they swore to serve.
Based on data collected and analyzed by the FBI's Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted Program (LEOKA), 89 law enforcement officers died nationwide in the line of duty in 2019, including two officers in Minnesota.
The names of the fallen officers who have been added in 2020 to the wall at the National Law Enforcement Memorial will be read on this evening during a Virtual Annual Candlelight Vigil. Because public events have been suspended as a result of COVID-19, the vigil will be livestreamed to the public at 7:00 p.m. Please join us in showing our appreciation to our local, state, and federal law enforcement officers to view this online event this evening by logging on to: www.youtube.com/user/TheNLEOMF.
To learn more about National Police Week and the virtual candlelight vigil, please visit www.policeweek.org.