Team Dover recognizes Police Week 2023

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Cydney Lee
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Team Dover recognized Police Week May 22-25, 2023, at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Dover AFB’s recognition of Police Week included events hosted by the 436th Security Forces Squadron such as an excellence in competition, Defender’s Challenge and ruck march.

“If you fell in the line of duty, you gave everything you had to help people [who] couldn't necessarily help themselves; it’s the most selfless act I can imagine,” said Tech. Sgt. Brandyn Sloan, 436th SFS noncommissioned officer in charge of combat arms. “It speaks volumes to the character of those people. It's very important to remember [their sacrifices] and not let their lives vanish.”

Police Week, originally established in 1962 to honor fallen law enforcement officers, also honors security forces members and other military police officers who fell in the line of duty. The events held during the week represented the physical fitness, skill, teamwork and companionship needed to function as a law enforcement officer in both civilian and military capacities.

“During this week, the defenders of the 436th SFS have developed an itinerary of activities filled with the opportunity to bring together service members in joint capacity to build camaraderie around those who are devoted to public service,” said Lt. Col. David Ratte, 436th SFS commander. “[For example], the ruck march is designed to bond [members] together and know that while [our fallen] may no longer carry their own rucks, ours gets a little heavier knowing they will no longer be able to join the formation.”

Although Police Week is designed to honor fallen law enforcement officers, it can also be used as a time of remembrance for all those who have passed. 

“I think Police Week [is] looked at as a very cop-centric thing, but [it] leans into the ideals of not letting the [memories] of people you've lost, in your own career field or personally, go,” said Sloan. “[Police Week] is only once a year and it’s just for a week but it’s [about] keeping them in our thoughts and in our minds.”

Although Police Week only occurs once a year, the impact law enforcement officers have can be felt year round. During the opening ceremony for Police Week, Ratte encouraged audience members to consider the challenges law enforcement officers face both in the military and civilian sector. 

“This line of work is dangerous [but] every public servant in this capacity has taken an oath to dedicate their lives to protect those who are less able,” said Ratte. “Please reflect on your own life experiences [when] you have personally been aided by selfless public servants, regardless of the area of expertise.”