The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is running out of room. Dedicated in 1991, the Memorial currently contains the names of 21,910 officers who died in the line of duty. Those names include officers who have given their lives as a result of shootings, traffic crashes, or deaths as a result of a medical condition contracted while on the job, such as rare cancers contracted from helping with rescue and recovery operations in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. Every year these fallen officers and other historical fallen officer deaths discovered through research, are immortalized on the walls of the Memorial. Sadly, the names keep coming.
“We’re embarking on an expansion project to insure we do not run out of space. We will never stop honoring the fallen,” said National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund CEO Marcia Ferranto. “Our mission is to make sure all officers who have died in the line of duty are never forgotten.”
At the current rate, the Memorial may run out of room within six years. To avoid that happening, the Memorial Fund is working with Davis Buckley Architects, designers of the original Memorial, on the design of the proposed expansion. The three-year expansion plan will add another 15 inches to the height of the existing curved Walls of Remembrance and is intended to serve the needs of the Memorial through 2063.
The expansion plan will also include a newly designed pathway from the Memorial to the adjacent National Law Enforcement Museum, which educates the public about the history of law enforcement and provides on-going programs relevant to the current issues facing law enforcement and the communities they serve.
“By uniting these two important structures into one entity, we are creating a single law enforcement campus. It is the nation’s only living memorial,” said Ms. Ferranto. “It symbolically unifies the core mission that we as an organization are already doing: honoring the fallen and educating the public about law enforcement and the heroism of these brave men and women who wake up each day to keep our nation safe.”
Work on the Memorial expansion is slated to begin in late 2020.