During the month of May of each year, an annual tradition known as Police Week is set aside to honor those persons in Law Enforcement, past and present, and to pay tribute and give honor to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, their life in the line of duty. This week includes numerous local and national events that lead to events and memorial services at the Law Enforcement Officers memorial in Washington DC.

Locally here in Rhode Island, in the 1960’s, the concept of a National Police Week Parade was formed in East Providence and was sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge. After several years, this parade was discontinued. Several years later in the early 1970’s, Officers from Aquidneck Island Police Departments which included Newport Police, Middletown Police, Portsmouth Police and Rhode Island State Police (Portsmouth Barracks) revived the Police parade as an annual event. Known as the only one of its kind in existence, the parade had continued into the early 1980’s.  After having discontinued a second time, the parade was revived once again here on Aquidneck Island. The Parade Committee is made up of hard working and dedicated individual volunteers from all three local police departments, the Rhode Island State Police, Naval Station Newport Police, the FOPA of Middletown and Newport, the Rhode Island State FOPA Lodge, R.I.P.T.A. and many more civilian organizations who give tirelessly to make this annual event possible.

Now in its 30th consecutive year, the Aquidneck Island National Police Parade has expanded it’s events over the first weekend in May of each year to commemorate those officers killed in the line of duty from the previous year. Those respective agencies that have lost a member in the line of duty are invited with the Officer’s family and friends to commemorate the officer at the parade and take part in the events that preceded the parade. These annual events include a road race (5-0 5k Road Race and Fun Run), a golf tournament, the Rockin’ Rodeo Round-Up and the culmination event, the Police Parade on Sunday.

Agencies from around the nation to include New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont ,Washington D.C. and International Agencies such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have commemorated these fallen officers with the local and State agencies to include all 39 cities and towns from Rhode Island. Included in the annual tribute is the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Team which comes from the Washington, D.C. barracks to perform and commemorate those officers killed in the line of duty. In addition, approximately 40 different bands are invited to take part in the parade which includes high school bands from across the nation and numerous police Pipe and Drum Corps that march in the parade. Civilian organizations such as the Boy’s and Girl’s Scouts also take part in the annual commemoration to honor our heroes as well.