Information for Survivors
National Police Week is an emotional time of recognition and remembrance for new survivors and for those who are returning. There are several things survivors should keep in mind to ease the stress of such an overwhelming event:
Family survivors of law enforcement officers being honored at the Police Week events should make hotel reservations through Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) Co-Workers who plan to take part in the Survivors Conference can register through C.O.P.S. as well. This information will be available at www.nationalcops.org in 2016.
If you are attending the Memorial Service as a Survivor, we suggest the following:
- Please be sure to eat a good breakfast on the morning of the Memorial Service.
- Remember to bring your Memorial Service nametag.
- Be prepared to go through the magnetometers at the hotel before you load the bus.
- Bring minimal personal belongings; you cannot leave anything on the bus.
- Cameras, camcorders, etc., are okay; be prepared to have them searched.
- If taking medication, remember to bring it with you.
- You may want to bring snacks; water will be supplied at the Memorial Service.
- Weather varies this time of year; be prepared by bringing an umbrella and sunscreen.
- If you are given one of the flowers please make sure you are wearing it when you unload the bus at the Capitol grounds.
- The Capitol grounds may be soft or soggy; high heels are not recommended. Comfortable clothes and shoes are the best choice.
- Law Enforcement Officers wearing a weapon MUST have a current department-issued photo identification.
What to Expect
Here is what to expect for the Memorial Service on May 15:
- On the morning of May 15, Participating Family Members will receive a bagged continental breakfast.
- At 9:00 a.m. the Participating Family will gather in the Alexandria Hilton Ballroom (the National Police Week host hotel). At this time, your Memorial Service nametag (that you received at registration) should be in the front of your badge holder.
- Auxiliary volunteers will assist the Participating Family in lining up numerically. This is critical for participation in the Memorial Service. Auxiliary members will also give Primary Survivors a flower corsage.
- When everyone is lined up numerically, Auxiliary members will assist the Participating Family in boarding buses (in numerical order) for the ride to the West Front of the United States Capitol, the site of the Memorial Service.
- Upon arriving at the Capitol, Auxiliary members will assist the Participating Family in disembarking the buses (again, in numerical order). There will be people available to help with such things as strollers.
- During the Memorial Service, there is a Roll Call of Heroes, where the name of every Fallen Officer to be honored is read. Just before the Roll Call of Heroes begins, the Participating Family is led from their seat to the rear of the seating area to be joined with their Memorial Service Escort Officer.
- When the Fallen Officer's name is called, the Escort Officer will walk the Participating Family down the center aisle to the Memorial Wreath. The Primary Survivor will place the flower inside the star formation on the Wreath, while the Memorial Service Escort Officer renders a salute. A photo will be taken of the placement of the flower and provided to the Family at a later date. The Participating Family and Memorial Service Escort Officer will be directed to an area by an Auxiliary member where the Primary Survivor will receive a Supreme Sacrifice Medal. The fathers of the Fallen Officers will receive a lapel pin replica of the medal.
- The Memorial Service Escort Officer remains with the Family, escorting them back to their seats, then proceed back to their assigned seating.
We want you to know that there will be Auxiliary and FOP volunteers to guide you every step of the way! This entire procedure will be explained, in detail, to you at a Survivors' briefing, which will be held on May 14th at approximately 4:15 p.m. in the Hilton Ballroom. Please ask any questions you have at this briefing.
For Participating Family Members
Participating family members are defined as the Spouse, Children, Parents, Spouse's Parents and Sibling(s) of the fallen officer. Only members in this group may participate in the Memorial Service and the placement of the flower in the Memorial Wreath. However, extenuating circumstances can always be discussed.
- For the purpose of this memorial event, the hierarchical order of primary survivors is: Spouse, Children (depending on age), Parents, Siblings.
- If there is no Spouse, the next level of Primary Survivor is the Child. Of course a toddler or small will not be able to physically place the flower in the Memorial Wreath, so please keep this in mind.
- If are no Children, the next level of Primary Survivor is the Parent.
- If are no surviving Parents, the next level of Primary Survivor is the Sibling.
- The Primary Survivor, in most cases the Spouse, will place the flower in the Memorial Wreath at the Memorial Service on May 15. However, the Primary Survivor may designate another family member to place the flower.
- The person designated to place the flower is the SOLE DECISION of the Primary Survivor.
- The Primary Survivor must notify the Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary at registration, or sometime before the day of the Memorial Service if they wish to designate another family member to place the flower.
- All Memorial Service Escort Officers sit in a separate reserved seating area immediately behind the Participating Family.
For Non-Participating Survivors
Non-participating survivors are categorized as: aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, spouses of siblings, friends, co-workers, etc. This group does not participate in the placement of the flower in the Memorial Wreath. This group is transported to the Memorial Service site on the morning of May 15 on an earlier bus run from the C.O.P.S. hotels (bus departure times will be provided when you arrive at your hotel). This group is seated immediately behind the Participating Family and from their seats are able to see the Family participate in the Memorial Service.