National Police Week: Ways to celebrate and show gratitude to police officers

on May13
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National Police Week is a notable opportunity to show acknowledgment, appreciation and respect for law enforcement officers.

Police officers pledge to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against enemies both foreign and domestic, serve and protect against crime in communities, safeguard lives and much more. Their service to everyday Americans on a daily basis is a sacrifice.

While police officers should be regarded daily, National Police Week (May 12 – May 18) is a great time to emphatically thank law enforcement for putting their lives on the line in order to serve and protect.

Read the list below for a few suggestions on how to say “thank you” to those who exhibit bravery every day through their service.

Photo of police officers at graduation ceremony on top of photo displaying lights on a police car

Consider showing your appreciation for your local police department by writing officers a “Thank You” letter or making a financial donation. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images; )


1. Say “thank you”

Police officers are out and about just like everyday Americans. These men and women take their kids to school and stop at local coffee shops. If you see a police officer in passing during National Police Week, smile and thank them for their service as law enforcement.

While showing simple gratitude for their work can go a long way, if you are very excited about speaking with an officer, elaborate on what you are grateful for.

Here are some ways to express gratitude that go further than a “thank you.”

  • “Thank you for your service. I feel more protected every day knowing you and other officers are looking out for me.”
  • “Thank you for your service. People as brave as you should be recognized every day, and I appreciate what you do for this city.”
  • “Thank you for your service. I pray you are always protected in the field.”
File photo of Chicago police officers

National Police Week was established by President Kennedy in 1962 to honor those serving in law enforcement around the country. (Fox News )


2. Bring delicious food items to police departments

If you love to cook or bake, you may be tempted to whip something up in your own kitchen for your local police department.

However, the safest way to prevent foodborne illness is to purchase something from a local bakery, restaurant or dessert shop. While officers may appreciate a home-cooked meal, avoid the risk of causing illness if the food does not carry well.

Cookies, donuts, cupcakes, pizza, wings, boxes of coffee or containers of cold brew, bagels and cream cheese, sandwich trays and other catering food items are shareable options to offer your local police department during National Police Week.

3. Gather your family and friends to write letters

Fewer people are writing and sending mail since living in a digital world.

It is often a surprise to many when receiving a piece of mail, addressed to a person or a whole department with a handwritten notation. Gather your family after dinner to write letters of thanks or have children color pictures and mail them to the department.

In order to get a group to do this same thing, it only takes one person to initiate the project and gather everyone to participate. Send out a group message and organize a date, time and location to write letters to police officers. Have cards or paper, pens, envelopes and stamps ready and plan to mail them out.

Armed police officers stand guard as former President Donald Trump arrives at the wake of NYPD officer Jonathan Diller

Police officers pledge to serve and protect local communities, one another and uphold the United States Constitution. (Probe-Media for Fox News Digital)


4. Host a gathering in honor of your beloved officer

Often, families who have at least one police officer among them who have either previously served their local communities, or some who still do.

Whether there is one friend or family member in law enforcement or multiple, hosting a cook out or a gathering in their honor is a truly special way to say “thank you” and acknowledge their work.

Dressing in a uniform and carrying a badge is something many officers are proud of. However, the defund the police movement that wreaked havoc on large cities across America beginning in 2020 may have discouraged many police officers.

Hosting a gathering with food, drinks and plenty of family and friends is a way to not only show appreciation, but to allow officers to ease some stress.

Encourage them to relax, enjoy togetherness and completely bask in their celebration.

5. Donate to a police department or in honor of a fallen police officer

Unfortunately, police officers are killed in the line of duty on a monthly basis.

In 2023, 137 deaths of police officers were reported by the Officer Down Memorial Page. Over 35% of these deaths were from gunfire, over 16% from car crashes and over 7% from vehicular homicide.

Police associations and research foundations related to American law enforcement collect donations annually in order to build on their missions, enhance law enforcement trainings, educate citizens about the police force and local safety.


Additionally, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund seeks donor contributions to maintain memorial grounds of fallen police heroes, organize National Police Week events, provide places of remembrance and more.

If you are looking for a quiet way to support local law enforcement, consider donating to a non-profit foundation or reputable association.

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