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Marcia Ferranto was named CEO of the The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in 2019. The Memorial Fund, as it’s called, is America’s monument to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

We spoke with Marcia recently to hear about the work the Memorial Fund does and why our nation’s law enforcement officers deserve our utmost respect. Marcia will also be joining House Republicans on Thursday at the memorial after our Back the Blue Bike Tour to say a few words.

The Memorial Fund has three pillars: the memorial wall to honor fallen officers, the museum to honor the stories of American law enforcement, and an officer safety and wellness program that acts as a repository of best practices that agencies and departments across the country are implementing to keep their officers safe.

“It’s not enough to put the names of fallen officers up on the wall if we’re not also doing our part to keep more names off of it,” Marcia told us.

This task was particularly difficult during the pandemic. In fact, 2020 will go down as one of the deadliest years for law enforcement officers.

“While we were all at home, adjusting to a new normal, the lives of our law enforcement didn’t change. They had no time or choice but to dive right in. No officers sat in their car saying they can’t go in because of Covid,” Marcia said, adding that they’ve faced 182 confirmed Covid deaths on duty. The Memorial Fund predicts this number will double by the end of the year as more cases are reviewed.

Unfortunately, the wall had to be expanded in the last six months to fit all the names of fallen officers. “Currently there are 22, 611 names engraved, and we were going to run out of space in less than 5 years at that rate,” Marcia said.

Tributes left by loved ones at the The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

When asked what the rest of the country can do to similarly value our officers like the Memorial Fund does, Marcia said first, our nation needs to recognize that these men and women chose an incredibly honorable profession — one that requires them to put their lives on the line every day. Second, speak up — not only in favor of law enforcement in your communities, but also speak up to law enforcement. “Let these men and women know when you see them that you appreciate what they do and the sacrifices they have made to keep our communities safe. We would not be living in this country as it is today without them,” Marcia said.

House Republicans agree, and we will continue to honor our men and women in blue throughout National Police Week and beyond.