The Women’s Ministry at Emmanuel began a feet-on-the-ground approach to Law Enforcement Appreciation Week over 6 years ago. The intent was to show the Billings Police Department and the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office that we notice and appreciate what they do in and around our community.

This year’s dates are May 13 – 20.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

Law Enforcement Week began on October 1, 1962 when President John F. Kennedy approved a resolution by the 7th Congress of the United States “To authorize the President to proclaim May 15 of each year as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week of each year during which such May 15 occurs as Police Week.” In 1994, the resolution was amended by President Bill Clinton to include the flag of the United States on all government building be displayed at half-staff on May 15.

WHAT WE DO

During the annual week of law enforcement appreciation, the women in our church participate in a simple act of love and service. We provide drinks and snacks in the break room every day for the duration of the week. We do this because we recognize the tireless, and frequently thankless, job done by the men and women who choose to wear the uniform. These individuals possess a desire to keep the communities in which they live safe.

Every single day they willingly walk into dangerous and tragic situations. They see both the best and worst of what humanity can do. They desire to make life better. Their days are filled with brokenness, shattered lives, and the never ending stream of heart break. These men and women are strong protectors that do not ask for praise or thanks; yet even strong protectors need encouragement.

National Police Week is a time for them to support one another, to honor their brothers and sisters that have been killed or disabled in the line of duty, and for us as a community to reach out and show our appreciation for all that they do.

NEW THIS YEAR

For the first time, children in our church and preschool (Shiloh Christian Academy) will be making thank you notes which will be delivered to the officers along with the drinks and snacks.

Additionally, a Life Group will begin this fall specifically geared towards wives of law enforcement officers. We will be inviting them to join in a study of fellowship, prayer and support that will address issues of particular interest to these families.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

If you’d like to participate, there is a very easy way you can help. Purchase and bring prepackaged water, Gatorade, granola bars, candy bars, nuts, and other snack items and drop them off at the church by Thursday, May 11. Or, you can make a donation to help us purchase these items. Please designate donations “LEO Appreciation” so they are allocated properly. (Please note, due to security risks, we are unable to receive or distribute items that are homemade or home canned.)

Lastly, you can join us in praying for officers and their families—not only during this emphasis week, by throughout the year.