Expressing Our Gratitude to MPD Officers

We are expressing our Gratitude to MPD Officers, both past and also present. The Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Memorial and Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our goal is to honor the fallen heroes of the Metropolitan Police Department. Also. we are establishing a Metropolitan Police Museum to preserve their legacy and the rich and unique history of policing in the nation’s Capital.

from Don Blake, DC Police Memorial Founder & Board President

Last week, the officers of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) showed their mettle.

When the call came into MPD for help, they sent in the calvary to help the U.S. Capitol Police with a riotous mob.  Unfortunately, the mob disrespected them. They were crushed in doorways, sprayed with bear mace, tasered and also struck with metal pipes as the mob pushed their way into the U.S. Capitol. As Officer Michael Fanone was being beaten and his equipment stripped from him, the rioters shouted, “Kill him with his own gun!”

In all, 60 MPD officers were hurt in the violent melee. Despite a highly charged environment and extreme danger, the officers of the MPD were heroes; saving our city and protecting its residents, the U.S. Capitol building and the lives of members of Congress.

However, these officers are not nameless and faceless automatons. Under each uniform, they are also spouses, parents and neighbors – people who swore an oath to safeguard the city and its residents and visitors.

MPD Officers Fanone and Laury. Photo credit to NBC 4.

MPD Officers Fanone and Laury. Photo credit to NBC 4.

Officer Christina Laury said it well, “At the end of the day, we want to go home to our families and we needed to protect the Capitol before we did that…. I just remember seeing all these officers, their bravery and their heroism. They’re hurt and they’re down for the count for a little bit, but the second they can open their eyes again, they’re back in because they know this is our duty and nobody’s going to get through. I don’t know if people really understand the magnitude of January 6th.  And, bottom line is, law enforcement officers, we’re human beings. At the end of the day we signed up to protect and serve. That’s what we do and that’s what we were doing that day and we aren’t going to stray away from that.”

It’s time for us to thank the men and women of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department who help protect our nation’s seat of democracy; sometimes with their very lives.

Since America’s founding, Washington, DC has witnessed protests for all types of concerns. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the freedom of speech and the right of the people to peaceably assemble. Americans have never shied away from exercising this right. Additionally, the MPD has never shied away from protecting that right or protecting the city in the course of that assembly.

The city has seen many large-scale protests. Among them:

· 1925 Ku Klux Klan march of at least 25,000 demanding immigration restrictions
· 1932 protest of 20,000 WWI veterans seeking payment of bonuses
· 1963 civil rights march with 250,000 gathered
· 1971 May Day demonstration of 200,000 against the Vietnam War
· 1981 march of 100,000 to protest Central American and domestic policies
· 2017 Women’s March on Washington protest with estimated 1.5 million protesters
· 2020 protests over the killing of George Floyd across the city

Regardless of the cause, the MPD is on the front lines.  They are defending protesters’ rights and also protecting life and property.

Since the department’s founding, 121 MPD officers were killed in the line of duty. These officers have also made the ultimate sacrifice and leaving families without sons and daughters, without husbands and wives, and also children without parents.

Yet, the memorial to honor these officers is a dilapidated fountain built in 1942. It is in dire need of repairs.

A committed effort is underway to renovate this fountain and build a new and iconic Memorial Wall. The memorial will be in a park setting that will list the names of each MPD officer who died in the course of duty. This also includes defending the laws of the United States and the District of Columbia.

We are so grateful that businessman and philanthropist Don Graham has committed significant financial support to help build the memorial. All we have to do is OUR part. This effort involves the entire city. The original fountain was built in response to the killing of two MPD officers. The citizens and businesses of our city stepped forward to pay for the memorial. We hope to preserve their efforts and add an appropriate memorial to represent each officer by name.

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. This all-volunteer effort. Additionally, we do not take government funding. Our board of directors represents the active members of the:

– DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPDC)
– DC Association of Retired Police (AORP)
– DC Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)
– DC Police Foundation
– National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), Washington Metro Chapter
– Police Federal Credit Union (PFCU)
– DC Crime Solvers
– DC Concerns of Police Survivors (DCCOPS)

We invite you to learn more and support the Memorial at www.dcpolicememorial.org and also our Facebook page at facebook.com/DCPoliceMemorial.

Don Blake, Founder and President
Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Memorial and Museum