National Police Week, law enforcement memorials canceled because of COVID-19

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 14, 2020

By Shavonne Potts

SALISBURY — This week is National Police Week — historically a time that communities could publicly show appreciation for law enforcement.

But the coronavirus has made typical celebrations impossible.

Alberta McLaughlin, the Salisbury Police Department’s victim/witness advocate, said this is still a time for residents to reflect on the service of law enforcement as well as those who’ve died in the line of duty and the survivors they leave behind.

McLaughlin said she’ll personally light a candle on Friday because May 15 is usually the day reserved for a national memorial service in Washington, D.C. But she encouraged others to have a moment of silence on that day.

In the past, the Salisbury Police Department and Rowan County Sheriff’s Office would organize a memorial service to remember those who died in the line of duty and honor those who still serve in law enforcement. The event has been canceled this year.

Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes said the city council has created a proclamation and the department participated in the placing of a wreath at the new memorial on the lawn of the Rowan County Justice Center.

“I’m not sure what else we can do because of the present situation we find ourselves in. I guess people saying thanks to an officer is always an option even when it isn’t Police Week,” Stokes said.

He said, like many recent activities that have been disrupted by COVID-19, event organizers will have to postpone any formal celebrations or memorials for now.