Schools are frequently telling students what day it is. One of my favorites is Pi Day, which celebrates the irrational number π. One you don’t hear very often is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, celebrated each year on January 9.
The governors of both Illinois and Maryland posted tweets with messages to mark the occasion:
On this #LawEnforcementApprecationDay, I want Maryland’s brave police officers, first responders, and public safety personnel to know that I will always continue to have your back and proudly stand with each and every one of you. pic.twitter.com/H7NNT4r2k0
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) January 9, 2021
Let’s take a moment to recognize the bravery of the U.S. @CapitolPolice after this week's attempted coup and the unending commitment of the @ILStatePolice and local police across Illinois. On #NationaLawEnforcementDay, I'm grateful for your devotion to keeping communities safe.
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) January 9, 2021
Speaking of the Capitol Police, many students and other citizens have noted the vast difference between the way police responded to the assault on the US Capitol Wednesday and the way they frequently responded to Black Lives Matter protesters last spring.
Davontae Harris is a proud graduate of Illinois State University, though he went to high school in Wichita, Kansas, and now plays for the Baltimore Ravens. He used his Twitter account just after the riot at the US Capitol to explain:
We’re not asking you to shoot them like you shoot us, we’re asking you to NOT shoot us like you don’t shoot them…
— Davontae Harris (@wichkid) January 7, 2021
National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day started in 2015, when several organizations that work closely with police came together.
- Concerns of Police Survivors
- FBI National Academy Associates
- Fraternal Order of Police
- International Association of Chief of Police
- Officer Down Memorial Page
- Law Enforcement United
- National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
- International Conference of Police Chaplains
- National Troopers Coalition
There are more than 1,500 national “days” for various groups in the US, but somehow, the timing of this one this year felt special enough for us to mark it, even on a school news site.
And I realize many students are spending their school days at home, but the day typically is celebrated by spreading thanks, respect, and encouragement among the dedicated police officers who serve in our communities, including school resource officers in our schools.