May 08, 2020
As National Police Week begins this weekend, IACLEA President John Vinson, Ph.D., offers the following message:
Greetings IACLEA Members:
On Sunday, millions will begin the observance of National Police Week 2020, a time to honor police officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice in dedication to public safety. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reports more than 21,000 fatalities since the first line-of-duty death was recorded in 1786.
Dedicated members of our profession have sacrificed their lives while protecting U.S. campuses or surrounding communities. Unfortunately, earlier this week, we were saddened to learn of the death of Sgt. Lionel Martinez, of member institution Alamo Colleges Police Department in San Antonio, Texas. Sgt. Martinez was the 48th campus police officer to die in the line of duty since 1923. IACLEA remembers them in a video that concludes with an honor roll of these heroes. I hope you can share it with your agency personnel.
The 2020 National Police Week remembrance events will not have the large gatherings or public ceremonies that are the usual focal points of the week. Instead, in locales large and small, on video screens, or in homes, yards, or parks, supporters of law enforcement officers will carry out their own acts to ensure that we remember.
The global pandemic may change behavior, but not hearts. We hold these heroes in our hearts and with them the wish that today, tomorrow, and every day, you, your agency colleagues, and all law enforcement personnel are respected, appreciated, and safe.
Please follow IACLEA observance activities and messages via social media throughout the week. I invite you to share your memorial actions with us there. With deep appreciation for the responsibility you accept daily and the dedication and professionalism you exhibit while carrying out your vital duties.
John Vinson, Ph.D.