January 9 is bookmarked as National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.). The day was founded in 2015 with the help of organizations like the Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), the FBI National Academy Associates, the Fraternal Order of Police, and many others to recognize law enforcement officers who lead “the difficult and sometimes impossible career they have chosen, in public service to us all.”
With the national day in support of law enforcement men and women, many sports teams and organizations are putting on events for those people and their families once again this year. From discounted tickets to complimentary meals, sometimes the smallest token can go further than you realize. There are sports clubs all over the United States making the most of L.E.A.D. on January 9, but here are a few to get you started.
C.O.P.S. is asking that people show support today, and every day for that matter, by taking a few minutes to support positive law enforcement and the safety of those people, as well as their family members, in a number of ways by doing one of the following:
— Change your profile picture on social media to the image provided at www.facebook.com/nationalcops
— Wear blue clothing in support of law enforcement
— Send a card of support to your local police department or state agency
— Share a story about a positive law enforcement experience on social media
— Ask children in your community to write letters in support of law enforcement
— Participate in Project Blue Light – Proudly display your blue light in support of law enforcement
— Organize an event or a rally in support of your law enforcement officers
— Advertise your support through local media outlets/billboards
— Post the public service announcement supplied by C.O.P.S. to your organization’s webpage or social media pages
After that, get out and find a local sporting event honoring your community members, like these ones from around the country.
When the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes (7-7, 1-0 AAC) take on the Memphis Tigers (5-9, 0-1 AAC) in American Athletic Conference women’s basketball action, all law enforcement personnel will get into the game for free with their badge.
The school’s running social media hashtag #ForOurCity means a lot more than just sports on this day. Giving police men and women the opportunity to sit back and enjoy a game in the town they serve to protect might not seem like much, but a day away from the stress of work is sure to be an awesome tribute during this game.
In the Houston area, the third annual Law Enforcement Appreciation 5K and 10K races will be ran to honor the national holiday.
According to the event’s race page, the races are only $20 to enter, and at least 15 percent of every entry will be donated to Concerns of Police Survivors. This is another awesome way to honor law enforcement officials who will undoubtedly be on guard for the racers, even on a day like this. It just goes to show that even though they may go unnoticed, events like this are made safer with their sacrifices.
When the Northwestern State Demons (6-9, 1-1 Southland) host the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders (6-9, 1-1 Southland) at Prather Coliseum in Louisiana, several tributes will take place.
For starters, all law enforcement men and women, plus their families, get $5 tickets to the game and a free meal will be included. Then at halftime, members of the local police departments, the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Natchitoches Police Department, will participate in a game for the L.E.A.D. trophy. Recognition for other guests of the law enforcement community will also take place as part of the awesome ceremony.
When the Milwaukee Admirals face off against the Grand Rapids Griffins at Panther Arena on Wednesday night, all law enforcement families will get center ice tickets for just $9 to see the boys in blue play.
And heck, if you’re still interested in seeing some hockey talent in the Nashville Predators’ pipeline, Wednesdays are “Hat Trick Wednesday,” where 12 oz. domestic beers, brats and pretzels are all just $3 apiece!
More into outdoors sports on the mountain? The Wachusett Mountain Ski Area has 27 trails, eight different lifts and climbs up to 2,006 feet of elevation, and they’re offering half-off lift tickets for all military, police, fire, and law enforcement officers who have their I.D. with them. Of course, they’re also asking that everyone on the mountain wear blue to honor the national holiday.
If you see a police officer on January 9, thank them. It’s not easy to enter the line of duty in a world filled with daily sacrifices and negative attention without knowing who you’ll encounter, or if you’ll return home. We should all be thankful that brave men and women risk their lives to protect our nation’s citizens one day at a time, especially on National Law Enforcement Day.