Flags at government building across the United States are flying at half-staff on May 15 in observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day. The observance comes in the midst of National Police Week 2019.
A May 10 statement from President Donald Trump decreed that the flags at all government buildings across the country, including overseas territories, will be flown at half-staff on May 15. The president also wrote, “I further encourage all Americans to display the flag from their homes and businesses on that day.” The statement added, “I call upon all Americans to observe Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”
National Police Week 2019 runs from Sunday, May 12 until Saturday, May 18.
According to the Police Week schedule, the 38th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service will take place on the West Front of the United States Capitol in Washington D.C. at 11 a.m.
The definition of a peace officer depends on the specific jurisdiction. The Criminal Justice School Information website states that “Often a peace officer is a law enforcement officer, like a police officer, sheriff, sheriff’s deputy, constable, constable deputy, marshal, etc.” The website adds that in some jurisdictions, the definition can be expanded to include probations officers, district attorneys, arson investigators, airport security and security at government buildings.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund says that a total of 158 officers died in the line of duty in 2018. In 2019, the number of those killed stands at 42.