SHREVEPORT/LAFAYETTE/ALEXANDRIA/LAKE CHARLES/MONROE, La. – United States Attorney David C. Joseph recognizes the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local and tribal police officers during National Police Week, which is being observed this week, Sunday, May 12 to Saturday, May 18, 2019. Today is National Peace Officers Memorial Day.
In October 1962, Congress enacted a joint resolution, which the President signed, declaring May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty. The resolution also created National Police Week as an annual tribute to law enforcement service and sacrifice.
“Police Week is an opportunity for us to honor the men and women in blue, both here in Louisiana and across our great nation – recognizing their dedication, loyalty and commitment to keeping our communities safe,” said U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph. “I want to acknowledge the difficult, often dangerous work performed by our police officers and ask that we all take a moment to think about the brave men and women of law enforcement who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Families of our fallen officers should know that they have our unwavering support and appreciation.”
This year, the names of 371 U.S. law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty were engraved on the wall of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, and were formally dedicated during the 31st Annual Candlelight Vigil on the evening of May 13, 2019. These names included 158 officers who were killed in 2018, and 213 officers who died in earlier years but whose stories of sacrifice had not been previously documented. The Candlelight Vigil is one of many commemorative events taking place in the nation’s capital and across the United States during National Police Week 2019 honoring the memory of law enforcement officers.
The Western District of Louisiana had two line-of-duty deaths in 2018. The officers whose names were added to the Memorial this year are:
- Monroe Police Department Officer Ayrian M. Williams, who passed away on May 21, 2018, in a vehicle crash while responding to a call to assist a fellow Monroe police officer. Her name can be located on the Memorial Panel at 45-W: 31.
- Montgomery Police Department Assistant Police Chief Kirt R. Ricks III, who passed away on September 7, 2018, in an automobile crash during the pursuit of a speeding motorist. His name can be located on the Memorial Panel at 27-E: 31.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial – the nation’s monument to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty – is located on E Street between 4th and 5th Streets NW. Two marble walls display the names of more than 21,000 officers who have been killed in the line of duty throughout U.S. history, dating back to the first known death in 1791. New names of fallen officers are added to the monument each spring, in conjunction with National Police Week. The Memorial is open 24-hours, admission is free, and guided tours are available by appointment.
As a part of honoring law enforcement this week, U.S. Attorney Joseph will speak at the annual Police Memorial service, hosted by the Lafayette Police Department on Thursday, May 16 at 6:00 p.m. at St. Barnabas Church. A motorcade will begin at 5:30 p.m. starting from the Lafayette Police Department main station located at 900 E. University Ave. and proceed to the church.
Other events taking place throughout the District included:
The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, Alexandria Police Department and other Central Louisiana law enforcement agencies honored fallen officers at a memorial ceremony on the morning of May 14 at the Rapides Parish Courthouse. The Alexandria Police Department also has motorcycle officers in Washington, D.C., for Police Week escorting family members of fallen officers for events this week.
The Bossier City Police Department hosted a Peace Officers Memorial Ceremony today at 11:00 a.m. today the lobby of the Bossier Civic Center on 620 Benton Road. The ceremony honors fallen officers of the Bossier City Police Department, Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, Shreveport Police Department, Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police Troop G and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The Monroe Police Department held a wreath laying ceremony today from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 700 Wood Street, honoring one of their fallen officers, Officer Ayrian Williams. Brandon B. Brown, an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the Western District of Louisiana, was the guest speaker.