LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 16, 2022) — Sixty years ago, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed that May 15 would be Police Officers Memorial Day, also designating that same week as National Police Week.
The week commemorates law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 472 law enforcement officers died nationwide in the line of duty in 2021, of which 319 succumbed to COVID-19.
The names of the fallen officers were read and added to the wall at the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial on Friday, May 13, 2022, during a candlelight vigil in Washington, D.C.
“This week and every week, we remember those who died in the line of duty and aim to honor their legacy in all that we do as officers,” said UK Police Chief Joe Monroe. “We also recognize the contributions of those who have chosen this path of service.”
The UK Police Department maintains its own police communications center, manages all aspects of the UK physical security system, coordinates UK’s Crisis Management and Preparedness Division, develops public safety marketing, advocates outreach to the campus community and provides unsworn security services throughout UK HealthCare and at special events on campus.
Additionally, the level of training UK police officers receive exceeds the Peace Officers Professional Standards, which is overseen by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council (KLEC) and continuously updated as mandated by state statutes. UK police officers also receive specialized training in a multitude of areas, including K-9 operations, motorcycle unit, riot operations, dignitary protection detail, leadership and as a host of other topics.
“This increases the level of service we can provide to the UK community,” said UK Police Deputy Chief Nathan Brown. “Because of our various divisions and the extensive training our officers receive, we’re able to offer more holistic support to students, faculty, staff and campus visitors.”
The role of a police offer can be complex, requiring significant training and a deep understanding of law. However, the responsibilities can also require them to care for victims, act as a mediator and find other necessary resources for all parties involved.
While the responsibilities of the role are extensive, members of the UK Police Department are ready to take on the challenge.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.