A career in law enforcement is not for the faint of heart. Police put their lives on the line during every shift, never knowing for certain whether or not they will make it home. They work long hours away from their families, miss holiday celebrations, and are constantly under public scrutiny. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that keeping our communities safe is a risky business, and often a thankless one to boot. 

That’s why, every year on January 9, we celebrate National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (LEAD). Since 2015, grateful citizens have taken the lead to show their support.  

10 Ways to Show your Support of Law Enforcement

Supporting law enforcement is an evergreen practice. However, if you want police officers to know you’ve got their backs, consider doing one or more of these simple things in honor of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. 

    1. Send a card to your local police agency. A nice, heartfelt message will go a long way. And if you have kids or happen to work in a classroom, perhaps you can encourage the children to make cards as well.
    2. Share a social post about a positive experience you had with law enforcement. Also, if your local agency has a Facebook page, you can give them a positive review and rating!
    3. Wear blue clothing in support of law enforcement. Wearing a blue shirt to work, at school, or just at home is the easiest thing you can do to acknowledge National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
    4. Tie a blue ribbon to your mailbox or car antenna. Cops out on patrol will get the message and appreciate the gesture.
    5. Do an act of kindness. Do you know a police officer? Thank them for their service by shoveling his or her driveway, or invite them over for dinner. Fostering positive relationships within the community is always a good thing!
    6. Donate to a charity that supports police officers. From financial aid to counseling services and healing experiences, there are numerous nonprofits in the U.S. that provide critical resources.
    7. Host an event in honor of law enforcement. Whether it’s a small dinner party or a major sporting event, no gesture is insignificant. For example, the Milwaukee Admirals ice hockey team annually partners with C.O.P.S. to offer a special Law Enforcement Appreciation Night for police officers and their families.
    8. Shine a blue light. Project Blue Light is a tradition that began in 1988 that enables citizens to show support for local law enforcement and the heroes who have been killed in the line of duty. To participate, simply place a blue light or candle in your window, put a blue bulb in your porch light, or decorate a tree in your yard with blue Christmas lights.
    9. Refer a family who has lost a loved one in the line of duty to Band of Blue, a nonprofit organization that helps families move forward through transformative experiences. Do you know a family of a fallen police officer? Refer them here.
    10. Say Thank You to a police officer. A simple Thank You goes a long way. Believe it or not, police officers prefer to have positive interactions with the people they protect and serve.

An Honorable Mission

blue ribbon tied on tree to support police officersDonating to charity is a great way to show your support for police officers on National Law Enforcement Day. When giving to a nonprofit, it’s important that their mission aligns with your own values and beliefs. 

Band of Blue is a national nonprofit organization that helps families of police officers killed in the line of duty. By creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience that honors their loved one’s service and sacrifice, Band of Blue helps families move forward after tragedy. Read our fallen officers’ stories to discover more about how and who we help. 

Law Enforcement Appreciation Day is this Sunday, January 9, 2022. Are you ready to take the LEAD and show your support?