Police memorials are a lasting tribute to officers who sacrificed their lives protecting others. They also serve as a reminder of the risk officers across the country take every day. There are numerous physical monuments nationwide, and many more online memorials, that honor fallen officers.
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial
Located in Washington, D.C., the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial honors officers killed in the line of duty nationwide. The names of officers who lost their lives during the previous calendar year, or officers killed in previous years whose sacrifice was only recently discovered, are engraved in the stone memorial and honored each May during National Police Week.
Alaska Peace Officer Memorial
Located in Anchorage, the Anchorage Peace Officer Memorial honors Alaska's peace officers with a statue depicting an officer holding a child. Names of fallen officers are inscribed on the statute and photographs of all of Alaska's fallen officers are listed on the website, categorized by decade.
California Peace Officers Memorial
The California Peace Officers Memorial depicts three officers throughout California's history and was created by a former police chief-turned-artist. A memorial ceremony is held every year during National Police Week. Names of fallen officers are inscribed in a book that is fixed outside the governor's office at the state capitol. The online database is searchable by name or year of death.
Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial
Located at the State Patrol Academy just west of Denver, the Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial was erected by a private donor in 1979. The name of each officer is inscribed on the memorial wall, and can also be found on the website.
Connecticut Law Enforcement Memorial
The Connecticut Law Enforcement Memorial, located at the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden, features a statue representing the eternal flame with the words, 'Never Forget' inscribed. Names are also inscribed on the granite walls of the memorial.
Georgia Law Enforcement Moving Memorial
The Blue Knights Georgia Motorcycle Club organizes this mobile memorial, a large trailer that travels across Georgia and the United States. The name of every Georgia law enforcement officer who lost his life in the line of duty is printed on a wrap which encases the trailer.
Florida Fraternal Order of Police Law Enforcement Memorial
Dedicated in May of 2000, and located at the capitol building in Tallahassee, the Florida Fraternal Order of Police Law Enforcement Memorial contains the name of every state law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty, as well as all federal officers assigned to Florida. Names are also listed online in the Roll Call of Heroes.
Florida Sheriffs Law Enforcement Memorial Wall
Located in Tallahassee, the Florida Sheriffs Law Enforcement Memorial Wall was dedicated in 2002 to honor each of the men and women of the Florida Sheriffs' Offices killed in the line of duty. The names of officers killed in the prior year are added to the granite memorial each April.
Huntsville Police Fallen Officers Memorial
Dedicated on November 29, 2011, the Huntsville Police Fallen Officers Memorial honors members of the Huntsville, Alabama police department. The memorial, which is located in front of the Department of Public Safety Center, is surrounded by a brick walkway. Supporters can purchase a brick to be inscribed with a name of their choosing to be inlaid at the site.
Idaho Peace Officers' Memorial
Located on the grounds of State Police Headquarters, in Meridian, Idaho, the Idaho Peace Officers' Memorial contains the names of officers on two slabs of granite encased in large rocks. In between the memorial walls sits a third rock, containing a carving of an eagle along with the inscription 'Blessed Are the Peacemakers.' There is also an online Honor Roll with photos of those officers who lost their lives.
Indiana State Police Memorial
Located in Indianapolis, the Indiana State Police Memorial has three black granite tablets with the names of fallen officers. The tablets surround an eternal flame. The online memorial includes a sketch of each officer who gave his life.
Illinois Police Officers Memorial
Located on the West Lawn of the state capitol in Springfield, the Illinois Police Officers Memorial features bronze statues of two police officers - one male, one female - standing atop the memorial. There is also an online listing of officers killed in the line of duty.
Iowa Peace Officer Memorial
Located on the State Capitol Complex in Des Moines, the Iowa Peace Officer Memorial consists of three stone monuments encircling an inner stone. The name of each officer who lost his life is inscribed on two plaques that are on permanent display at the Iowa Department of Public Safety Building in Des Moines. There is also an online listing of officers killed, their rank, department and date of death.
Kansas Law Enforcement Memorial
Kentucky State Police Professional Association Memorial
The Kentucky State Police memorial, a seven and one-half foot wide, nine-foot-tall granite monument located outside the State Police Academy in Frankfort, honors all of Kentucky's fallen officers dating back to the agency's beginning in 1948. Officer's names are inscribed randomly, rather than chronologically by date of death, on either the wall or the bricks surrounding the flagpole, to signify that each sacrifice is the same regardless of when it occurred. There is also an online photographic listing of fallen officers.
Louisiana State Police Memorial
Located at state police headquarters in Baton Rouge, the Louisiana State Police Memorial honors each fallen state trooper since the department was created in 1922. The site includes a list of all those who have lost their lives. The memorial also has a Facebook page.
Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial
The Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial, located at the State House in Boston, honors state and local police, as well as federal, sheriff and corrections officers, killed in the line of duty. The memorial features a circular wall that surrounds a large stone monument in the shape of a police badge. The names of officers are inscribed on the circular wall. There is an online listing of officers killed.
Michigan State Police Fallen Trooper Memorial
Located on the grounds of the Michigan State Police Academy near Lansing, the Michigan State Police Fallen Trooper Memorial is a granite wall in the shape of a semi-circle, similar to the national memorial in Washington, D.C..
Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial
Located at the capitol building in St. Paul and fronted by a reflecting pool and fountain, the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial is a granite wall with officers' names inscribed on it. The website includes a list of all officers killed since 1874.
Mississippi Fallen Officers Memorial
Located in Jackson, the Mississippi Fallen Officers Memorial features several granite walls inscribed with the names of fallen officers.
Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial
Located in Jefferson City, the Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial has each fallen officer's name inscribed on an individual plaque that is added to the memorial's circular walls. The memorial's website lists all fallen officers by year of death.
Nebraska Law Enforcement Memorial
Dedicated in 2007, the Nebraska Law Enforcement Memorial, located at Fonner Park in Grand Island, honors all Nebraska officers killed in the line of duty since 1866. The names of these brave men and women are inscribed on the memorial's black, granite walls. The site includes a photographic listing of each officer listed on the memorial.
Nevada Law Enforcement Officers Memorial
The Nevada Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, located at the state capitol in Carson City, has the name of each officer inscribed on a granite wall shaped like the state of Nevada. The memorial website also has a list of each fallen officer.
New Hampshire Police Memorial
This New Hampshire Police Memorial has officers names inscribed on the approaches to the granite memorial, which is in the shape of a star. A bronze sculpture of an eternal flame sits in the middle of the star, and a container at the base of the memorial holds badges from all state law enforcement agencies.
New Jersey State Police Museum & Learning Center Memorial Hallway
The New Jersey State Police Museum, in West Trenton, has a wing dedicated to fallen state troopers, and includes a photograph and biography of each trooper. The memorials can also be viewed on the museum's website.
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Police Officers Memorial
Located at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, this Police Officers Memorial honors federal, state and local law enforcement officers with a memorial that has 12 granite panels with inscribed names. The memorial contains a quote from the daughter of one of the fallen troopers, which reads, "It doesn't matter from which department they came, the feeling of loss is experienced the same." The complete roll of honor can be viewed on the memorial website.
North Dakota Peace Officers Memorial
Located in Bismarck, the North Dakota Peace Officers Memorial has the names of fallen officers inscribed on one of two walls and is surrounded by a seating area to encourage quiet reflection.
Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial
The Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial has each officer's name, rank and year of death on the memorial stone. The memorial website also contains a photographic listing of all officers who have lost their lives.
Rhode Island State Police Memorial
Located at state police headquarters in Scituate, the Rhode Island State Police Memorial honors fallen officers by inscribing their names on the memorial wall, which sits directly below a statue of a mounted state trooper. The website also lists the name of each officer.
Peace Officers' Memorial Foundation
This Peace Officers' Memorial, a curved granite monument located on the Texas Capital Complex in Austin, has the words "dedication, honor, service, bravery" inscribed at the memorial's base to describe the character of those fallen officers. The foundation also has a Facebook page.
Pennsylvania State Troopers Association
The Pennsylvania State Trooper Memorial, located at the state trooper academy in Harrisburg, inscribes the name of each fallen trooper on one of its two stone walls, which are sculpted in the shape of Pennsylvania.The memorial website includes a list of all officers whose names are etched on the memorial wall.
South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame Memorial Room
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame in Columbia is a museum dedicated to South Carolina law enforcement. The museum has twelve exhibits, including a memorial room. The name of each fallen officer, dating back to 1797, is inscribed on individual plaques that line the memorial room walls.
South Dakota Law Enforcement Memorial
Located on the grounds of the state capitol in Pierre, the South Dakota Law Enforcement Memorial features two stone monuments honoring all of the state's fallen officers.
Utah Law Enforcement Memorial
The Utah Law Enforcement Memorial, located at the state capitol in Salt Lake City, honors officers with an individual plaque affixed to a stone wall. Each plaque contains the name, department and date of death of each officer. The memorial is flanked by several bronze statues, including an officer and his service dog and an officer carrying a child. The memorial also has a Facebook page.
Virginia State Police Colonel C. W. Woodson, Jr. Memorial Gallery
Located at the State Police Academy in Chesterfield County, the memorial gallery includes portraits of all fallen state police officers.
Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial
Located at the state capitol in Olympia, the Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial honors the lives, work and dedication of all state law enforcement officers by engraving the names of fallen officers on the memorial.
Washington State Patrol Fallen Officers Memorial
This Washington State Patrol Fallen Officers Memorial, located in Olympia, honors fallen state patrol officers. Names of fallen officers are inscribed on one of two granite walls, which sit before an eternal flame. There is also an online photographic listing of officers killed.
West Virginia Law Enforcement Memorial
Located at the Cultural Center in the capitol building in Charleston, the West Virginia Law Enforcement Memorial has the names of fallen officers inscribed on a bronze plaque that sits at the base of the memorial beneath a statute of a police officer. The name of every fallen officer is also listed on the memorial website.
Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial
Located in Madison, the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial honors all fallen law enforcement officers by inscribing their names on the stone memorial, which is a circular monument with flowers planted inside. The name of every fallen officer is also listed on the memorial website.
State and local police departments that do not have a permanent memorial still pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty with online memorials. Some great examples include:
Arkansas State Police Trooper Memorial
The Arkansas State Police Trooper Memorial website includes a three minute video with the names and photographs of officers killed in the line of duty.
The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation
This Chicago Police Memorial is searchable by name, star, rank, district/unit or date of death.
Delaware State Police Memorial
The Delaware State Police Memorial includes a photograph and mini-biography for each member of state police who lost his life.
Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial
The Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial includes the name, date of death and department of every fallen law enforcement officer. Plans are underway to erect a permanent memorial at the state capitol in Honolulu.
Maryland Police & Correctional Fallen Officers Memorial
The Maryland Police and Correctional Fallen Officers Memorial has an online listing of fallen officers searchable by name or decade of death. The memorial foundation is currently fundraising to erect a permanent memorial.
Montana Law Enforcement Memorial
This Montana Law Enforcement Memorial includes the names of every fallen officer.
North Carolina Peace Officers Memorial
The North Carolina Peace Officers memorial site includes the name, department and date of death of each officer killed in the line of duty since 1892.
Officer Down Memorial Page
The Officer Down Memorial Page honors fallen officers nationwide with a database that is searchable by name, agency, state, year of death or cause of death.
Oregon State Police Memorial
Vermont State Police Memorial
The Vermont State Police Memorial includes the name, photograph, date and cause of death of each fallen officer.
How to Get an Officer's Name Included
Generally, an officer's name can be included on a memorial if someone contacts the memorial with the appropriate information such as name, date of death and manner of death. Some memorials, like the National Memorial, require that it be submitted by the officer's department head. Other memorials allow any individual to submit the form with appropriate documentation. If you know an officer who you believe should be included on a memorial, check the memorial foundation's website to obtain an application. If no application is available online, contact the organization to inquire how to get an officer's name added.
Criteria for Inclusion
There are specific criteria that must be met in order for an officer's name to be included. For some memorials, the criteria are implemented by the memorial foundation board of directors; for others (like New York), the criteria are part of state law. There may be small variations among memorials regarding the criteria an officer's death must meet, but generally they are as follows:
- The person must have been a law enforcement officer. Generally, this would mean that the individual has to have been sworn in and have had the power to arrest.
- The person must have worked for a law enforcement agency which is any agency whose mission is to control or reduce crime, and which also has the power to arrest. The agency that the officer worked for, must employ at least one full-time, duly sworn, trained and certified officer, or the equivalent in part-time officers.
- Military police officers may be included if they experienced similar hazards, and performed similar duties, as those normally experienced and performed by non-military law enforcement officers. However, this does not include combat situations.
- The officer to be included generally must have been killed in the line of duty.
How to Help
The majority of law enforcement memorials are run by non-profit charitable foundations. They receive no federal funding and rely solely on corporate and private donations. In addition to collecting donations, some foundations offer to sell items, such as a brick to be inlaid around the memorial, or memorabilia with the memorial's name on it. They may also organize fundraisers like a race.
If you would like to contribute to a memorial, you should check the memorial foundation's website for information on how to contribute - many accept donations via PayPal, or provide an address for mailing donations.
A Lasting Tribute
Police memorials, whether a fixed monument or online database, serve as a permanent reminder of the ultimate sacrifice men and women throughout the country have made in the service and protection of others. They are an important tribute and reminder to civilians of the price that is paid to keep neighborhoods crime free.