National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Running Out Of Room 71 Years Early
Washington, DC – The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, which officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, will run out of space for new names 71 years earlier than expected.
The names of 12,561 officers who died in the line of duty prior to 1990 were inscribed on the walls of the memorial when it was dedicated in October of 1991, the Washington Business Journal reported.
At the time, the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) projected that the memorial’s design would provide enough space for an average of 153 fallen law enforcement officers’ names to be added to the Walls of Remembrance each year through 2100.
But the 1990-era projections about the future risks the nation’s police officers would face were drastically underestimated, the Washington Business Journal reported.
The average number of officers killed in the line of duty has more than doubled since those initial estimates, and now stands at an average of 337 deaths per year.
Today, there are 21,183 names on the walls of the memorial.
At this rate, the memorial will run out of space by 2029 unless modifications are made, the Washington Business Journal reported.
The NCPC will consider a plan to replace the walls’ Adair marble wall cap with a taller cap created from the same material, which would ad 15 inches to the height of the walls.
The modification would allow for 9,000 more names to be inscribed before it is filled to capacity once again, likely sometime around 2057.
National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) called the situation “heartbreaking” in a statement on Thursday.
“This highlights the very real danger our officers face every day they put on a uniform,” the FOP said.
The NCPC will discuss the expansion proposal during its meeting on Feb. 6, according to the Washington Business Journal.