Americans celebrated National Police Week with events across the country honoring those who risk their lives to keep us safe.

Almost 23,000 officers have died in the line of duty since 1791, including 484 in New Jersey, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. 

On the 55th anniversary of National Police Week, New Jerseyeans did their part to show their gratitude to the men and women who carry out justice, protect us from harm and keep the peace.  For example, members of several New Jersey State Police chapters rode their bikes from New Jersey to Washington D.C. over the weekend in honor of National Police Week and fallen officers.

Sign Up for E-News

In recognition of Police Week, the House passed five bills to honor the sacrifice of officers and give them the tools they need to do their jobs.

     - The Thin Blue Line Act adds the killing of any law enforcement officer, firefighter or other first responder as an aggravating factor that can result in imposition of the death penalty in federal prosecutions.

      - The Honoring Hometown Heroes Act amends the U.S. Flag Code to authorize governors to proclaim that the flag be flown at half-staff to honor local police, firefighters and emergency responders.

      - The American Law Enforcement Heroes Act prioritizes the hiring of veterans by jurisdictions receiving federal grants from the COPS hiring program.

      - The Rapid DNA Act directs the FBI to issue standards and procedures for DNA analysis that can process results in as little as 90 minutes, helping quickly identify offenders and exonerate the innocent.

      - The Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act establishes within the Department of Homeland Security a National Computer Forensics Institute to train local and state law enforcement, prosecutors and judges regarding cyber crimes.

All too often we forget the daily sacrifice of those who have our backs 24/7. Police Week is a welcome opportunity for all Americans to express their gratitude and support to those who protect and serve.