“To serve and protect.” Every year, during National Police Week we honor that powerful calling—and the incredible men and women who answer it. Throughout the year, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is committed to providing programs specifically designed to help officers and their families.
“Police Week is a very special time for everyone at BJA,” noted BJA Acting Director Michael Costigan. “While the events must look different this year due to COVID-19, our commitment to honoring public safety officers is unwavering. Fortunately, our programs that serve these heroes are still fully operational, and we are eager to help.”
For the first time in 39 years, National Police Week will not include in-person events in Washington, D.C. However, there will still be a Virtual Candlelight Vigil on May 13, 2020, and a media tribute on May 15, 2020, National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day.
To directly assist first responders as they respond to the Coronavirus, BJA is making $850 million in emergency grants available to eligible state, local and tribal governments under the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program. BJA is working hard to get these vital funds to eligible grantees within a week of receiving an application.
One of the most solemn duties of a society is to honor those who sacrifice in service to others. BJA’s Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program provides death and education benefits to survivors of fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters and other first responders, as well as disability benefits to officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty.
While honoring the fallen, BJA is also dedicated to protecting our public servants. BJA's National Officer Safety Initiatives (NOSI) currently address law enforcement safety in three key areas: law enforcement suicide, traffic safety, and a national public awareness and education campaign.
The VALOR Officer Safety and Wellness Program was designed to prevent injuries and deaths of law enforcement officers and the people they serve. The program also strives to improve the health and resilience of officers. The multi-faceted initiative includes both on-site and online trainings, e-learning resources, toolkits, research, and an information clearinghouse—all delivered at no cost. Participants regularly describe VALOR training as a career-changing experience that reignites their passion to protect and serve. In the past 10 years, VALOR has trained more than 64,000 individual officers.
BJA is proud to offer these unique programs to serve the front line. Today—and always—we will do everything we can to safeguard and pay tribute to the men and women who give so much.