May 12-18 is National Police Week. I am very lucky, that there are two Bangor police officers who live on my block. I know the long hours they work, and the jobs that they do are very difficult, and unfortunately, have become more and more dangerous. That's why it's so important during National Police Week to take a moment and thank a police officer! They often come upon us when we're not at our best, and yet we want them to maintain a calm and polite demeanor, even when they often get the complete opposite in return.

On average, one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty somewhere in the United States every 57 hours. Since the first known line-of-duty death in 1791, more than 19,000 U.S. law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice.

So far in 2013, 40 police officers have lost their lives while serving and protecting. You can see a list of them here. Included among the 40 is Officer Sean Collier who was shot by the Boston Marathon terrorists. There is a national candlelight vigil, Monday May 13 at 8 PM honoring all  of America's fallen law enforcement heroes. You can register to view it by clicking here

Here are some law enforcement facts from the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund

  • There are more than 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers now serving in the United States, which is the highest figure ever. About 12 percent of those are female.
  • According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, an estimated 1.2 million violent crimes occurred nationwide in 2011, a four percent decrease from 2010.
  • Crime fighting has taken its toll. Since the first recorded police death in 1791, there have been over 19,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Currently, there are 19,981 names engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
  • A total of 1,539 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 57 hours or 154 per year. There were 120 law enforcement officers killed in 2012.
  • On average, over the last decade, there have been 58,261 assaults against law enforcement each year, resulting in 15,658 injuries.
  • The 1920s were the deadliest decade in law enforcement history, when a total of 2,355 officers died, or an average of almost 236 each year. The deadliest year in law enforcement history was 1930, when 293 officers were killed. That figure dropped dramatically in the 1990s, to an average of 161 per year.
  • The deadliest day in law enforcement history was September 11, 2001, when 72 officers were killed while responding to the terrorist attacks on America.
  • New York City has lost more officers in the line of duty than any other department, with 697 deaths. Texas has lost 1,653 officers, more than any other state. The state with the fewest deaths is Vermont, with 22.
  • There are 1,057 federal officers listed on the Memorial, as well as 610 correctional officers and 31 military law enforcement officers.
  • There are 270 female officers listed on the Memorial; twelve female officers were killed in 2012.
  • During the past ten years, more incidents that resulted in felonious fatalities occured on Thursday than any other day of the week. The fewest number of felonious incidents occurred on Tuesday