(TRENTON) – New Jersey Human Services is honoring National Police Week this week and Peace Officers Memorial Day today by recognizing the New Jersey State Human Services Police for their efforts to protect some of New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents.

Police Week is celebrated annually to recognize police officers around the country who lost their lives in the line of duty and to recognize officer achievements. Two Human Services Police Officers have lost their lives in the line of duty – Officer Wilson McLaurin, who died in the line of duty in 1975, and Sgt. Lawrence Bannick, who died in the line of duty in 1977.

The New Jersey Human Services Police serve and protect individuals across New Jersey, including children, individuals with disabilities, and others.

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Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson highlighted the essential work of the Human Services Police and noted the unique skills required for this critical role.

“New Jersey’s Human Services Police often handle situations and duties that are the true essence of community policing by engaging with individuals and families at times of great vulnerability and providing steady and supportive leadership,” Commissioner Johnson said. “Their work requires specialized skills and talents and training. I thank them and Director Timothy Gallagher for their constant dedication and commitment.”