May 14 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) cosponsored S.Res.215, a Senate resolution honoring the observance of National Police Week, and commemorated the 306 law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty during 2020, four of whom were from Alabama. The measure specifically designates May 9-15, 2021, as “National Police Week” – a week in which Americans honor the service and sacrifice of U.S. law enforcement officers.
“It is with sadness and appreciation that we remember all of the police officers who have died in the line of duty in 2020, but in particular, the four fallen police officers from my home state of Alabama. These men and women made the ultimate sacrifice to protect us, putting our safety above their own. During National Police Week, we honor and pay tribute to these brave heroes – memorializing their courageous acts and paying our respects to their friends and families. My sincerest condolences remain with their loved ones. We owe our fallen officers a great debt of gratitude,” said Senator Shelby.
In 2020, the following officers from Alabama gave their lives and will be permanently honored on the Officer Down Memorial Page:
- Sergeant Parnell LaRoy Guyton of Birmingham, Alabama – Sergeant Guyton served with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Police Department for 16 years. He is survived by his wife and son.
- Assistant Chief Gail S. Green-Gilliam of Phenix City, Alabama – Assistant Chief Green-Gilliam served with the Phenix City Police Department for 33 years. She is survived by her husband, son, two daughters, grandchildren, and siblings. Assistant Chief Green-Gilliam had also been the foster parent for special needs children and adults.
- Lieutenant Stephen Paul Williams of Moody, Alabama – Lieutenant Williams was a U.S Air Force veteran and dedicated 23 years to law enforcement service. He served with the Moody Police Department for three years and previously served with the Calera Police Department for 2-1/2 years, the Alabaster Police Department for 15 years, and the Bessemer Police Department for 2-1/2 years. Lieutenant Williams is survived by his wife and three children.
- K-9 Officer Nicholas Daniel O’Rear of Morris, Alabama – Officer O'Rear served with the Kimberly Police Department for one year and previously served with the Ashville Police Department. He is survived by his three children.
In 1962, President Kennedy signed a law stating that, moving forward, the President could proclaim May 15 every year as Peace Officers Memorial Day in honor of the federal, state, and local officers who have been killed, disabled, or otherwise injured in the line of duty. President Kennedy’s proclamation also authorized that the week of May 15 would serve as National Police Week to honor our nation’s law enforcement officers. This was first established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962 and pays tribute to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the main events of National Police Week have been scheduled for October 2021. A full list of the activities is available here.
Each year, National Police Week is made possible by the work of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, the Fraternal Order of Police/Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary, and the Concerns of Police Survivors.