100 Club of Arizona describes National Police Week as empty this year
PHOENIX – For the second year in a row, families of fallen police officers will not be able to go to Washington, D.C., where line of duty deaths are recognized and honored by adding their names to the national memorial.
National Police Week occurs every May, and this year will be commemorated with virtual events.
In-person events are planned for Oct. 13-17 in Washington, D.C., to offer the same respect, honor and community support as National Police Week.
But they will invite law enforcement, survivors and citizens to gather and pay tribute to those who gave their lives in the line of duty.
Five police officers in Arizona were killed in the line of duty last year, including White Mountain Apache Police Department officer David Kellywood, Phoenix Police Commander Greg Carnicle, Peoria Police officer Jason Judd and Tohono O’odham Nation Police officer Bryan Brown.
Officer Michael Lee with the Navajo Police Department died on June 18 after complications with COVID-19.
“I feel very much for the families that are having to delay that memorial for their loved ones,” Angela Harrolle, president and CEO of the 100 Club of Arizona, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.
The lack of in-person gatherings to honor these officers is not the only thing that makes this year’s Police Week feel empty.
Harrolle also recognized the climate in which many police officers are perceived today and how that impacts the families of those in law enforcement.
“That feel out there by the families is that, what about us? Like what did we ever do wrong?” Harrolle said. “Just because they chose a career that you and I would never want to do?”
As some have called for the defunding of police throughout the pandemic, Harrolle says requests of assistance to the 100 Club of Arizona have increased dramatically.
The nonprofit has dedicated itself to helping not only the men and women who wear the badge, but also their spouses and families.
That is why they created a virtual platform through the use of two different mobile apps, one for police called “Bulletproof” and another for firefighters called “Fireproof.”
“We definitely have seen an increase on the mental health and wellness side of what we do,” Harrolle said.
For more information about the 100 Club of Arizona and to support their efforts, visit the organization’s official website.