Wednesday, July 1, 2015

World Police & Fire Games Host Candlelight Ceremony

As the sun set over the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, on June 30, a large group from the Fairfax 2015 World Police & Fire Games gathered at the site to honor their fallen comrades with a candlelight Memorial Service.

Bagpipes were played throughout the ceremony that included an invocation by Monsignor Salvatore Criscuolo, of St. Patrick Catholic Church in DC, and a presentation of colors by a combined honor guard from Fairfax County (VA) Fire and Rescue, Police Department and Sheriff’s Office.

Memorial Fund Chief of Staff Herbert V. Giobbi shared welcome remarks, in which he described the bravery of those who choose to be law enforcement officers. He spoke about Lyndhurst (NJ) Police Officer Michael Keane, who was on Amtrak train 188 when it derailed in Philadelphia in May. Officer Keane was heading home after having participated in the Police Unity Tour, as part of the National Police Week festivities in Washington, DC. When the train crashed, Officer Keane’s immediate reaction, after checking on his fiancĂ©, was to start helping the others who had been injured.

Later when Officer Keane was asked why he had jumped into action, he said, “It’s my job. That’s what I’m put on this planet to do.” Mr. Giobbi stressed that officers throughout the country were put on this planet to do just that, to save the lives of others.

FBI Director James Comey Jr. took the stage as the keynote speaker and promised to continue working hard to make sure more officers aren’t killed in the line of duty, and that the names on the walls of the surrounding Memorial would always be remembered.

The lighting of the candles immediately followed led by Fairfax County (VA) Police Department 2nd Lieutenant Bruce Blechl, who helped bring the World Police & Fire Games to Fairfax. He invited survivors of fallen officers from Fairfax County to spread the light through the crowd, as an Air Force bugler played ‘Taps.’

When the ceremony concluded, the athletes were wished well in their continued games, where thousands of professional and public safety athletes from around the world compete in more than 65 sports. The World Police & Fire Games are held every two years, with the 2017 games scheduled for Montreal, Canada. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

VALOR's Officer Safety App, Stay Safe and Mobile

The VALOR Program, a project of the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, is devoted to helping prevent violence against law enforcement officers and ensuring officer resilience against violent encounters.

In addition to the training sessions they've offered across the country over the past few years, the VALOR program recently released a unique officer safety app for mobile devices.

The app "promotes the mental and physical preparation of officers" through a variety of informative resources available on the go and several useful pre-service checklists.

Learn more and check the app for iPhone or Android devices.

Survivors Visit Memorial On Scholarship Trip

On the sunny morning of June 24 in Washington, DC, 15 students gathered at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial to walk amongst the names of our fallen heroes. The students, recipients of the ICMA-RC Public Employee Memorial Scholarship, were given a tour by Memorial Programs Assistant Debbie Catena, who told them about the Memorial, including the significance of the rose and shield medallion and details about the upcoming National Law Enforcement Museum across the street.

The ICMA-RC Public Employee Memorial Scholarship Fund was created to “honor public employees who have made the ultimate sacrifice.” It provides scholarships for secondary education to the survivors of employees who died in the line of duty.

“ICMA-RC Memorial Scholarship Award recipients are remarkable for having triumphed over tremendous loss to achieve exceptional personal and academic success,” said ICMA-RC President and CEO Bob Schultze.

The students were solemn as they walked through the Memorial, paying their respects to the more than 20,000 fallen law enforcement officials whose names are etched in the marble walls.

“The recipients of the ICMA-RC Public Employee Memorial Scholarship appreciated the opportunity to visit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and were very moved by their experiences,” said Alex Hannah, ICMA-RC Vice President of Marketing Communications and Education.

“The students and their relatives who lost loved ones in the line of duty will long remember being at the memorial to reflect on their parents' honorable service.”

The tour group also met with local safety officials and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation at a commemorative dinner at the National Press Club.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mario Biaggi, Founder of Law Enforcement Memorial, Dies at 97


Former U.S. Rep. Mario Biaggi, the New York City police legend who founded the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) in 1984, died at his Bronx home yesterday at the age of 97.

Mr. Biaggi joined the New York City Police Department in 1942 and went on to serve with great distinction for 23 years. At the time of his retirement and for many years later, he was the most decorated police officer in New York City history. In his 23 years on the police force, Mr. Biaggi was injured 10 times in the line of duty, and he received 28 heroism commendations, including the Police Medal of Honor for Valor—the Department’s highest award, given for extreme acts of courage. He retired in 1965 as a Detective Lieutenant.

In 1968, Mr. Biaggi was elected to serve in the United States Congress, where for the next 20 years he was law enforcement’s most vocal and effective voice on Capitol Hill. In 1984, Mr. Biaggi formed the NLEOMF and his legislation to have a national monument built in honor of America’s law enforcement officers became law that same year. His dream became a reality when the Memorial was dedicated in 1991. Today, that Memorial stands proudly in historic Judiciary Square in Washington, D.C. and bears the names of 20,538 law enforcement officers who died in the performance of duty.


“Our nation has lost a man of great courage, compassion and achievement,” declared NLEOMF Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd, who also served as Mr. Biaggi’s legislative assistant for 10 years. “Through a life devoted to public service, Congressman Biaggi touched countless lives in a very positive and meaningful way.”

In 1998, Mr. Biaggi received the Memorial Fund’s Distinguished Service Award.  In accepting the organization’s top award, he said, “I am a recipient of an award that is extremely significant, probably the most significant award I’ve received in an entire lifetime of public service and law enforcement.”

Mr. Biaggi was once dubbed “New York’s best service Congressman” by New York magazine and his legislative achievements on behalf of the elderly, children, law enforcement officers and many others were remarkable. Yet, when asked later in life what would be his legacy, he said, “Your legacy is your family.” Mr. Biaggi is survived by his four children, Barbara, Jacqueline, Richard and Mario II, as well as 11 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

The Biaggi family will receive visitors at a wake on Monday and Tuesday, June 29-30, at the Hudson Funeral Parlor at 6110 Riverdale Ave., Riverdale, NY. A funeral mass will be held on Wednesday, July 1, at St. Philip Neri Church in the Bronx.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

Friday, June 5, 2015

Houston Astros Host 2nd Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Night

Despite the heavy rains and storms going on this past week in Texas, it was a great night on Friday, May 29, as the Houston Astros honored the service and sacrifice of all Texas Law Enforcement Officers during the 2nd Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Night at Minute Maid Park. $5.00 from each ticket was donated to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. The Astros battled against the Chicago White Sox in an exciting game that lasted 11 innings, however the Astros came up short in a 6-3 loss.

A special pre-game ceremony was held as the Harris County Constable Precinct #5 Honor Guard presented the colors during the National Anthem. Also prior to the game, the Houston Astros recognized and honored the following Texas police departments and officers for their service, Houston Police Department Officer Luis Menendez, Houston Police Department SWAT Officer Lance Gibson, Pearland Police Department Officer Thomas Landis, and Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy David Finley.

Fans enjoyed fireworks after the game.

Plans are already underway for the 3rd Annual Law Enforcement Night, our thanks to Ray Hunt and the Houston Police Officers Union, Houston Astros account representative Jake Winowich and Texas native Roderick Janich for putting on a great event. Check out www.lawmemorial.org/sports for all the latest law enforcement nights and mark your calendars for September 17 as the Houston Astros travel to Arlington and take on the Texas Rangers for another Law Enforcement Night.

Friday, May 29, 2015

20th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony Held for FBI Special Agent William Christian, Jr.

On this day in 1995, Special Agent William H. Christian, Jr. was shot and killed during a manhunt for Ralph McLean, who was wanted for two unprovoked attacks on D.C. police officers. Special Agent Christian was praised as "a regular guy and a real family man." He was the first one in the office each day and always volunteered for the toughest assignments.

The FBI Washington Field Office, Society of Former Special Agents, and FBI Agents Association held a Memorial Service today at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Opening remarks were given by Andrew McCabe, Assistant Director in Charge, FBI Washington Field Office. Followed by an invocation by Reverend Monsignor Salvatore Criscuolo and the presentation of colors by the FBI Police Honor Guard.

The Honor Guard led the placement of two wreaths beside Special Agent Christian's name on the Memorial. Remarks were given by Charlie Prouty, FBI Special Agent (ret.); Bill Megary, FBI Special Agent (ret.); and Mark Giuliano, Deputy Director, FBI.

On May 30, 1995, FBI Director Freeh said Special Agent Christian "was willing to stand in the breach, on the very, very thin line between good and evil, putting his own life at risk, putting the fortunes of his family at risk."

If you wish to pay your respects, you can find Special Agent Chrstian's name on the Memorial at 35-W: 20.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Police Week 2015

Thank you to all our friends and supporters for another wonderful Police Week! This year, we honored the addition of 273 American Law Enforcement heroes to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

Events began on Saturday, May 9 with the National Police Week 5K and the 24th Annual Correctional Officers Wreath Laying Ceremony.

The National Police Week 5K was hosted by the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) and benefited their programs as well as Concerns of Police Survivors. The 5K began and ended at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.



During the Correctional Officers Wreath Laying Ceremony, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Corrections Chiefs Committee gathered at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial to honor correctional officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.



The 20th Annual Law Ride rode into town on Sunday, May 10. Hundreds of motorcyclists cruised from RFK Stadium past the U.S. Capitol, down Pennsylvania Avenue, and up 5th Street on their way to the Memorial.



On Monday, May 11, The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) of Washington, DC, the Fraternal Order of Police DC Lodge #1, and the DC Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors hosted the 36th Annual Washington Area Police Memorial Service at MPD’s Headquarters in downtown DC with Brianne Carter of ABC/WILA-TV, as mistress of ceremonies.



On Tuesday, May 12 when the 19th Annual Police Unity Tour arrived at the Memorial. It was a sight to see when 1,900 riders made their way through the Memorial's Pathways of Remembrance. After a brief ceremony, the Police Unity Tour presented the Memorial Fund's Chairman & CEO Craig Floyd with a check for $1,997,000, their biggest donation yet to the Memorial Fund!



Wednesday, May 13 marked the biggest and most important day during Police Week, the night of the 27th Annual Candlelight Vigil. Tens of thousands gathered at the Memorial to raise their candles high in honor of the 20,538 officers on the Memorial.





Police Week events didn't after the Candlelight Vigil. On Thursday, May 14, the 21st Annual Emerald Society and Pipeband March and Service made their way to the Memorial. During the event, the Emerald Society, an organization of American police officers or fire fighters of Irish heritage, remembered all law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, in particular officers of Gaelic descent. Emerald Societies from all over the US participated in the march.



Police Week events also included the 34th Annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Day Services at the U.S. Capitol on Friday, May 15. After the ceremony, the Fraternal Order of Police and Fraternal Order of Police Auxillary brought their wreath to the Memorial, where Honor Guard teams from all over the U.S. stood watch over it until midnight.



Police Week is a very special time for us here at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, and we are proud to be able to host the various events that happen during the week. Thank you again to all of those who participated in Police Week events, both in person and online through watching the live stream of the Candlelight Vigil on Officer.com and participating in our United By Light virtual candle campaign.