As we approach May, I’d be remiss if I didn’t encourage those of you in law enforcement who haven’t yet made it to National Police Week in Washington, D.C., to add attending to your “to do” list. Whether you are in your rookie year or finding yourself wanting to push that magical MBOS button, I’m telling you that your career won’t be complete until you make that visit.
Considering that law enforcement officers from around the world will make the trip again this year in mid-May, I’d say a simple 3 1/2-hour drive south won’t take too much. Hotels will be hard to come by in the city by now, but there are plenty of rooms right outside the city.
The 35th Annual Candlelight Vigil will be held on Saturday, May 13. The names of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2022 will be read, along with the names of those who died in previous years and somehow slipped through the cracks or who time and distance made us forget. They will join more than 22,000 other names engraved on that wall at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
And while we are talking about the wall, you must make the pilgrimage to see that, too. Unlike any other memorial in Washington, D.C., that wall is markedly different during Police Week than it is any other week of the year.
The silence is deafening, even though you will see hundreds of people there at any given time during Police Week. The mementos and notes left by the families and co-workers of the fallen will stay with you forever. And on May 12, the arrival of the Police Unity Tour at the Memorial will have you soon shopping for a bike (or at least giving serious consideration to riding).
The sound of the pipes and drums is just about everywhere and, for at least one week out of the year, the city is pretty safe. So add it to your list. You’ll thank me later.