BU hosts National Police Week luncheon
A National Police Week celebration was held at Monty’s on Bloomsburg University’s upper campus on Wednesday, May 11. More than 50 officers from the surrounding region attended the event. At the event, Montour County DA Angie Mattis and Columbia County District Attorney Tom Leipold presented a proclamation recognizing Police Week.
Bloomsburg University Police Chief Leo Sokoloski welcomed officers and staff representing local municipalities, state police, game wardens, sheriff, and probation offices.
This year, Police Week is observed May 11-17. Thousands of law enforcement officers from across the country will visit the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
"While we celebrate today, it is equally important to reflect and remember those we have lost; in March of this year, Pennsylvania lost three police officers, Lt. William Lebo, a 40-year veteran set to retire in 30 days of Lebanon, Trooper Branden Sisca leaving behind an expectant wife, and Trooper Martin Mack who left behind his wife and two children," said Sokoloski.
"The last two years have brought about some insurmountable challenges for law enforcement more than at any time in the history of policing. Hiring and retention challenges, renewed trainings in a multitude of areas, one of those focusing on respect; which must be given to all individuals at all times. We believe we can best earn that respect by first respecting the rights of others. We respect rights by valuing people’s differences. Police officers must be at the front line of serving our most vulnerable populations with justice, respect, and dignity."
"It is not just grit and courage—it takes courage to enter a burning building to rescue an individual. It takes courage to confront a person you witness commit a serious crime. It takes courage to restrain ourselves in using only that amount of force necessary to control dangerous situations," said Sokoloski. "But it also takes courage to protect a person who spews hatred toward others in the community. It takes courage to resist responding in kind when citizens are despicable in their conduct toward you and spit, curse, and call you names. It takes courage to end a high-speed chase when it endangers others. The courage you need in policing is not only physical—about risking your life for another. It also is courage in the form of restraint and providing protection to others. All of us have a role in speaking out, particularly on behalf of others, for social justice, anti-discrimination, and equal rights."
What is National Police Week?
National Police Week occurs every May, and in 2022 will be observed from May 11–17. The National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum will hold ceremonies, including the 34th Annual Candlelight Vigil, to honor the fallen officers whose names have recently been added to the Memorial. In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.