National Police Week and the Security Forces Enterprise
A Commentary by Brig Gen Collins
The Department of the Air Force Security Forces, in conjunction with thousands of other law enforcement organizations, will pause and remember our heroes in honor of National Police Week, May 16-20, 2022.
National Police Week provides an opportunity for the community to pay special recognition to law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.
As the Director of Security Forces, this week reminds me of those officers we have lost and the sacrifice that 38K Defenders, to include 5K DAF civilian Defenders, make every day to ensure the safety of the Nation and Installation at home and abroad. These Defenders are charged with the ultimate duty to ensure the safety of others on or off duty, and I have witnessed this call to duty personally as I humbly watch the thousands of base defense, security and law enforcement responses proficiently executed across the enterprise 24/7.
Chief Master Sergeant Donald Gallagher emphasized the importance of Police Week. “Think of the word and act of sacrifice this Police Week. Never take for granted those sacrifices made daily by our Defenders and other law enforcement professionals across the country and around the globe. Whether civilian or military, the work these brave men and women do every day to protect our bases and resources is unmatched. "Defenders, these brave men and women are you!” he said. “As you stand post whether it's the frozen missile fields of Minot or the desert heat of Africa and the Middle East, know that you are not taken for granted. Your sacrifices are well known and appreciated, and there is not enough thanks we can give to recognize the work and responsibilities you take on every day. Most importantly, let us never forget our fallen that have given the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of the force and our Nation. We must always and keep them and their families in our thoughts and prayers.”
This Police Week, we honor all Defenders for their bravery, sacrifices, and dedication to the safety of others. Deputy Director of Security Forces, Timothy Gerald agreed, saying, “As we quickly approach another Police Week, its significance cannot be over emphasized. The environment for law enforcement officers is challenging at best and extremely difficult at worst. law enforcement officers’ ability to maintain their professionalism and focus on protecting the public, while facing additional scrutiny, is to be applauded. The recognition that comes with National Police Week is just a small way in which the country can say thank you to officers for the difficult and important work they do. Sadly, it is also a time to honor those officers who lost their lives doing the work they loved. Thank you for all you do.”
Brigadier General Roy Collins will also be attending the 34th Annual Candlelight Vigil, which will take place Friday, May 13th on the National Mall (between 4th and 7th Streets and Madison and Jefferson Drives) in Washington, D.C. The Candlelight Vigil starts at 8:00 pm. During Police Week, we are reminded of the importance of each Defender and thank them for all that they do to protect and uphold the mission of the United States Air Force.
At this year’s event, three of our fallen Defenders: A1C Elizabeth Jacobson, A1C LeeBernard Chavis, and SSgt Travis Griffin will be honored among 17 other fallen heroes whose names were recently added to the Memorial. The Memorial honors federal, tribal, state, and local law enforcement officers.