National Police Week takes place this year Sunday, May 13 until Saturday May 19. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world will converge on Washington. D.C., to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. The memorial service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Decades later, the event, more commonly known as National Police Week, has grown to a series of events which attracts thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to our nation’s capital each year.
The National Peace Officers Memorial Service, which is sponsored by the Grand Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, is one in a series of events which includes a candlelight vigil, which is sponsored by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and seminars sponsored by Concerns of Police Survivors.
On Friday, May 11, a memorial service I attended was held at our State Capitol in Madison at the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial, located on the north side of the capitol square. The Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial’s mission is to remember and honor Wisconsin law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. When incorporated, the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial’s Board set four goals:
- Building and maintaining a monument to honor Wisconsin law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.
- Organizing and conducting an annual memorial ceremony at the state capitol to remember and honor Wisconsin officers who died in the line of duty and serving their communities.
- Providing support and information to law enforcement officers, law enforcement agencies, survivors and community groups who need help adjusting to and dealing with a line of duty death of a law enforcement officer.
- Providing a means for individuals, businesses, and communities to express their appreciation for law enforcement officers.
Tragically, Trooper Anthony J. Borostwoski of Tomah was added to the memorial at the ceremony this year. It was with a humble heart that I authored a joint resolution in his honor during this legislative session and had a chance to present it to his family on the floor of the State Assembly earlier this year. Trooper Borostowski was a Wisconsin son that lived a life of dedicated service to others. Throughout his distinguished military and law enforcement career, he proved time and again that he was devoted to protecting the fundamental rights and privileges that we enjoy and sometimes take for granted.
Monroe County holds a Law Enforcement Appreciation Event in front of the Monroe County Courthouse annually as well, and it’s one of the most significant events I attend every year. This year it takes place on Friday, May 18. I look forward to attending and encourage you to attend as well if you’re able. District Attorney Croninger will deliver remarks at the event.
I have the chance as your state representative to see our local law enforcement officers with a unique lens. I have the opportunity to witness the work they do, consult with them on issues that affect our daily lives and really see how much they care about not only protecting us and keeping us safe but also making our neighborhoods and our communities better places to live and work. It is with those thoughts in mind that I offer my heart felt gratitude and thanks to all of our local law enforcement officers, their spouses and their families for their commitment to protect and serve. Thank you.