U.S.Attorney Weinhoeft Recognizes National Police Week

(STL.News) – U.S. Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft of the Southern District of Illinois
joins today with federal officials across the Department of Justice in observance of National
Police Week.  During this week – May 10 through May 16 – we pay special honor to the service and
sacrifice of our nation’s federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement.  Due to the ongoing
pandemic, all Police Week events will be virtual this year, but our respect and heartfelt gratitude
remain as strong as ever.

“There is no more noble profession than serving as a police officer,” said Attorney General William
P. Barr.  “The men and women who protect our communities each day have not just devoted their lives
to public service, they’ve taken an oath to give their lives in order to ensure our safety.  And
they do so not only in the face of hostility from those who reject our nation’s commitment to the
rule of law, but also in the face of evolving adversity – such as an unprecedented global health
pandemic.  This week, I ask all Americans to join me in saying ‘thank you’ to our nation’s federal,
state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers.  Their devotion and sacrifice to our peace and
security will not be taken for granted.”

U.S. Attorney Weinhoeft said, “Law enforcement officers are ‘the thin blue line’ that maintains
order and protects us from chaos.  Police work has always involved risk; but we are living through a
moment in history when danger hides in the most routine activities.  While most Americans are
sheltering in place, we have witnessed men and women in essential positions heroically serving the
people of this nation in spite of the danger.  As they continue to merit our praise and sincerest
gratitude, we pause this week to show our respect to all the law enforcement officers who daily
make this brave act of sacrifice, putting our collective safety ahead of their own.  I am especially
proud of the dedicated officers who serve and protect the Southern District of Illinois and who
have continued to work, without fanfare, in the midst of this pandemic.”

In 1962, President Kennedy issued the first proclamation for Peace Officers Memorial Day and
National Police Week, to remember and honor law enforcement officers for their service and
sacrifices.  Each year during National Police Week, our nation celebrates the contributions of law
enforcement from around the country, recognizing their hard work, dedication, loyalty and
commitment to keeping our communities safe.  This year the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored
law enforcement officers’ courage and unwavering devotion to the communities they swore to serve. Peace Officers Memorial Day, observed every year on May 15, specifically honors law

enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty.  Based on data collected and analyzed
by the FBI’s Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program, 89 law enforcement
officers died nationwide in the line of duty in 2019, including Illinois State Trooper Nicholas
Hopkins here in the Southern District of Illinois.  In the early morning hours of August 23, 2019,
Trooper Hopkins, 33, was shot and killed while attempting to execute a search warrant at a
residence in East St. Louis.  A 10-year veteran of law enforcement, Trooper Hopkins was a member of
the Illinois State Police SWAT team – a group of dedicated professionals routinely tasked with some
of the most dangerous assignments.  His tragic death was deeply felt across the district and still
weighs heavily on the hearts of all who knew him.

According to FBI data, there were an additional 41 officers nationwide who were killed accidentally last year while on
duty.  Trooper Hopkins’ name, along with the names of the other fallen officers, has been added to
the wall at the National Law Enforcement Memorial and will be read aloud on Wednesday, May 13,
2020, during a candlelight vigil.