PORTLAND, Ore.—Every January, the U.S. Attorney’s Office joins communities around the state in observing Law Enforcement Appreciation Day to honor the distinguished service and tremendous personal sacrifice of Oregon’s law enforcement officers. This year’s observance takes place on Saturday, January 9, 2021.
“This past year has brought several unprecedented challenges to our country and the law enforcement profession. Working in law enforcement is, now more than ever, one of the hardest and most important jobs in our country. The thousands of men and women who fill these roles do so not for personal accolade or attention, but out of an unwavering sense of duty to the communities they serve,” said U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams. “On behalf of everyone at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, we offer our sincere and humble gratitude to law enforcement officers in Oregon and beyond. You play a critical role in keeping our communities safe and working to create a fairer and more equal justice system.”
On January 9, please take a moment to honor those who protect and serve our communities. Your support can be shown in many ways, including:
- By wearing blue clothing;
- Sending a card of support to your local police department or sheriff’s office;
- Sharing a story about a positive law enforcement experience on social media;
- Asking children in your household to write letters in support of law enforcement;
- Organizing an event or rally in support of law enforcement officers; or
- Donating to a charitable organization that supports law enforcement.
Law Enforcement Appreciation Day also affords our community the opportunity to raise awareness of officer safety and wellness issues. Law enforcement as a career path is mentally taxing and subjects its members to disproportionate levels of trauma. Studies have shown that law enforcement officers are at greater risk of heart disease, alcohol abuse, major psychological illnesses, and divorce as compared to other professions.
In September 2020, the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) announced $4.5 million in grants for the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act Program. These funds are used to improve the delivery of mental health and wellness services for law enforcement through training, demonstration projects, peer mentoring, and suicide prevention.
The COPS Office and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) have collected a long list of resources to support local agencies’ officer safety and wellness efforts. To view these resources, click here.