How to thank law enforcement during National Police Week


National Police Week, May 15-21, is an important time to remember all that members of law enforcement do to serve and protect citizens.

The somber week pays tribute to the men and women of law enforcement who gave their all in the name of duty and honor. Various events will be conducted throughout the U.S. with the main event, the annual Candlelight Vigil starting on May 13 in Washington, D.C. On May 15, the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service will be near the Capitol to honor fallen officers.

While thousands will make their way to Washington, those who cannot make it to the ceremony can still support criminal justice professionals in their communities. Columbia Southern University criminal justice professor Thomas Rzemyk, Ed.D, suggests small acts of kindness such as taking baked goods or refreshments to local officers and deputies to show appreciation.

In addition, “Many law enforcement organizations support local charities and causes in the community. Make a donation to the charity or organization in their name,” Rzemyk, a former military police officer, added.

Columbia Southern University professor Jamie Gauthier, a criminal investigator in Santa Clara, Calif., suggested writing a letter of appreciation in regards to a positive encounter or experience you had with a police officer and send it to the chief of police or sheriff.

“Law enforcement personnel constantly deal with all the negatives of society, so a letter of appreciation has a great positive effect on the police officer and the agency. Citizens can also share positive stories on social media as well,” Gauthier said.

He also advised displaying the color blue as a gesture of support and thanks. Items such as blue ribbons, lights and flags can be displayed at homes and/or businesses or pinned on clothing.

Both educators also recommended another important way to the honor National Police Week.

“Simply go up to a police officer in person, shake his or her hand, and say ‘thank you’ for protecting the community and for the hard work he/she endures in this line of work. It is not very often that police officers hear these two important words of appreciation,” said Gauthier.

So, during National Police Week, take a moment to let your local law enforcement know you are grateful for all of their efforts!

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