In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.
Every year, tens of thousands of police personnel convene in Washington, D.C. to participate in events that honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. This year, National Police Week begins Sunday, May 12, and will conclude on Saturday, May 18, 2019. There are numerous events scheduled during Police Week, but one of the most recognized and symbolic events is the Annual Candlelight Vigil. Each year on May 13, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund produces its annual Candlelight Vigil—a signature event of National Police Week in Washington, D.C. During the Candlelight Vigil, fallen officers whose names were engraved on the Memorial’s walls that spring are formally dedicated. Held on the National Mall, in addition to the lighting of candles and reading of names, the Candlelight Vigil includes remarks by dignitaries, and musical tributes performed to honor the memory of these fallen officers.
CHPD Personnel are authorized to wear mourning bands during National Peace Officers Memorial Week in honor of those brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. These black bands are worn over a peace officer’s badge as a symbol of mourning of a fallen officer. Our mourning bands include a thin blue line in the center. The thin blue line has many meanings, but it generally refers to the figurative position of law enforcement in society, as the border between order and chaos; for the officers that stand between anarchy and order; or standing between criminals and potential victims of crime. Primarily though, it is recognized as a symbol of solidarity in law enforcement.
Locally, CHPD participates in events such as the annual Candlelight Vigil and the California Police Officers’ Memorial Enrollment Ceremony at the State Capitol. The California Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremonies are held the first week of May at the CA Peace Officers’ Memorial Monument in Sacramento on State Capitol grounds. The ceremonies serve to formally enroll peace officers who have died in the line of duty the preceding year, pay tribute to the over 1,500 officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice since California became a state, and to honor the families left behind.
This year there will be eight officers honored at the Memorial including two local northern CA heroes: Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Stasyuk (EOW 09/17/2018) and Newman Police Department Corporal Ronil Singh (EOW) 12/26/2018).
Police Week serves as a stark reminder that the City of Citrus Heights is in capable hands and that the peace officers who serve are proud to protect this city.