Attendees at the COPS Kids/Teen meeting.
Attendees at the COPS Kids/Teen meeting. (Photo courtesy COPS) Attendees at the COPS Kids/Teen meeting.
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Concerns of Police Survivors
National Police Week, May 9–15, will see thousands of America’s law enforcement officers and surviving families from across the nation gather in Washington, D.C., to remember and honor fallen officers. The Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) will coordinate survivor participation in the major activities of the week.
On Wednesday, May 12, Law Enforcement United and PoliceHotels.com will arrive at the Pentagon to complete the “Road to Hope.” Law Enforcement United, a new, national organization of LEO bicycle enthusiasts, will complete a 250-mile ride from Chesapeake, Va., to the Capital to raise awareness of officer deaths in 2009. Representatives of PoliceHotels.com will be making a 5,000-mile drive across the U.S. in a Hummer displaying the names of every officer killed in the line of duty in 2009. The two organizations will raise funds for COPS and the Officer Down Memorial Page.
The Annual Candlelight Vigil will begin at 8 p.m. on Thursday at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The newly-engraved names on the Wall of Remembrance will be read to the thousands who attend the event.
On Friday and again on Sunday, C.O.P.S. will hold the National Police Survivors’ Conference, where family survivors and affected co-workers will attend seminars to address coping with loss, dealing with anger, and rebuilding lives after tragedy. While the adults are in seminar sessions, the surviving children will attend COPS kids/teens activities at local law enforcement academies. COPS plans to host all of their National Police Week activities under the “Road to Hope” theme. It symbolizes the journey law enforcement survivors must make after the loss of their officer.
On Saturday, the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police and its auxiliary, will be held on the west front of the U.S. Capitol. The names of officers who have died in the line of duty during the previous year will be read, and families will place a flower in a memory wreath when their loved one’s name is called.
To round out the activities, following the National Police Survivors’ Conference activities and the completion of all national activities on Sunday, C.O.P.S. will sponsor a BBQ dinner for survivors at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel. Attendees will be able to unwind from an emotional week with the other survivors they’ve met throughout the week.
Although honoring and remembering our fallen officers is vitally important, helping the surviving family members make their grief journey in as healthy a way as possible is just as important. C.O.P.S.
is the organization that provides healing, love and life renewed to law enforcement survivors and that support helps survivors rebuild their shattered lives. To find out more about the organization, visit www.nationalcops.org.