As a member of the law enforcement community, May 13th– May 19this a historical and significant time of year, where we honor all law enforcement personnel throughout our country. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and every week during that time of year as National Police Week. 

This is a time for our country to salute the brave men and women who serve and protect towns, cities, states, and most importantly citizens across the country. It is also a time to honor those law enforcement officers from around the globe that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

As President of PBA Local 105 - the largest Police Benevolent Association in New Jersey, representing over 6,000 active Correctional Police Officers, Juvenile Justice Commission and Parole Officers - I am honored and humbled by the work of our brave men and women in all areas of law enforcement throughout the nation. I salute their hard work and dedication to a thankless job that puts them in harm’s way every day to protect the citizens of our state and nation. 

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Over the past year, PBA Local 105 has made some tremendous strides for our law enforcement members. We have worked together with Democrats and Republicans to make significant legislative changes that will impact the correctional police officer community for years to come. We are happy to say that through bipartisan legislative efforts, our members are now referred to as State Correctional Police Officers. We were also able to make a significant change to the well-being of officers injured by the hands of an inmate by legislating the State of New Jersey to provide the necessary benefits to our injured officers while he or she is out of work.

While these legislative efforts make all the leadership at PBA Local 105 proud, I am most proud of the community service our members provide to the residents of New Jersey. Our members come from many communities throughout the state and serve in various mentorship roles in those communities. We volunteer our time and money to causes such as the Police Athletic League (PAL) and the Special Olympics through our annual Polar Bear Plunge. These community events and the work we do with families in these communities many times goes unnoticed. However, our law enforcement community is committed to serve and protect the well-being of the residents of New Jersey and that commitment doesn’t stop once they remove their badge.  

Our law enforcement officers understand the dangers and risk associated with their job. We do our best to give them the tools they need to keep themselves safe, but there are risks of being an officer that are beyond our control. These brave men and women do their job in order to protect our residents. So, the next time you see any law enforcement officer, say ‘thank you’. You may never know how much of an impact those two words mean to someone, but I can assure you to a law enforcement member, it means the world.   

Brian Renshaw is the President of PBA Local 105, the largest Police Benevolent Association in New Jersey.