HAPCOA 1st VP Richard Rosa and HAPCOA NCR Chapter President Joe Perez

On Friday, May 12, 2017, HAPCOA NCR President Joe Perez and I represented HAPCOA at the annual Legacy of Honor Gala held in the Ronald Reagan building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC.

This year’s Master of Ceremony was Greta Van Susteren, a big advocate of law enforcement.  The President and CEO of the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) Craig Floyd was present, former US Attorney General John Ashcroft, currently serving as the Chairman of the Memorial Fund and FLEOA President Jon Adler serving as the Memorial Fund Vice Chair to name a few.

The focus of this event is to recognize individuals, corporation and organizations that tell the American Law Enforcement story as well as help to raise funds for the NLEOMF.  On such group recognized for its continued support is the Police Unity Tour.  Founded in New Jersey, the Police Unity Tour help to raise awareness of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty and to honor their sacrifices.  At this year’s gala it was announced the Police Unity Tour has raised nearly 23 million dollars to date for the NLEOMF.  The Motorola Corporation has also donated 18 million dollars towards the construction of the museum.  The museum is set to open in the fall of 2018.  Also in attendance was National President Cindy Rodriguez of the National Latino Peace Officers Association.

On Saturday, May 13, 2017, the Candlelight Vigil was held.  Despite the cool weather and overcast skies this event is probably one of the most somber as the nation pauses to recognize its fallen heroes who died to protect the lives of American public.  Law Enforcement agencies from across the United States, its territories and from around the world were in attendance.

Present at the Candle Light Vigil DHS Secretary John Kelly.  He spoke, “Our fallen are not forgotten and will not be forgotten.  We set this night to honor and remember.”  He mentioned how Law Enforcement Officers, “Put the welfare of others before your own.  As LEOS you run toward the danger and not away from it.  The US Attorney General John Ashcroft stated, “We mourn today.  Each of these officers is more than just a name etched in stone.  We celebrate these heroes…for what they did and what they stood for.  We have your back and you have ours, thanks.”  

One hundred and forty-three officers were either assassinated or killed in the line of duty in 2016.  One is too much.  What we have today is disrespect for law enforcement and abandonment for the rule of law.  Let us not have a repeat in the years to come.

Submitted by:
Richard Rosa
1st VP HAPCOA
National Board