The West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office has joined with law enforcement agencies around the country in celebrating National Police Week on May 10-16.

The observance has been recognized since 1962, when President John F. Kennedy first proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which it occurs, as National Police Week, according to a news release.

Ceremonies in communities across the nation honor local, state and federal law enforcement officers for their dedication, the release said.

“We decided that we wanted to put an emphasis on this special week to show our community the positive side of law enforcement. There’s a lot of negativity surrounding our profession right now, and we want to do all that we can to counteract that negativity,” West Feliciana Sheriff J. Austin Daniel said. “We’ve put together wonderful activities to show our community how much we care.”

“The biggest event we have planned, and one we hope the entire community will attend, is our Night Out With Law Enforcement. We want to serve our community and invite everyone to come out for this family friendly event,” Daniel said.

Night Out With Law Enforcement will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the 4-H Barn at the Sports Park in St. Francisville.

The event will feature on-site cooking, door prizes, entertainment, face painting, inflatables and a photo booth, as well as tables distributing safety information for children, information on how to sign up for alerts and how to volunteer with the Citizens Corps.

A special memorial honoring deputies who died also will be part of the event, Daniels said.

Other events include employee spotlights with the hashtag #GetToKnowWFPSO throughout the month of May on Twitter as a way for the community to get to know the deputies that protect and serve them daily.

Employees are displaying blue Concerns of Police Survivors ribbons as a tribute to fallen officers, and deputies are handing out “I Got Caught Wearing My Seat Belt” T-shirts to young drivers and child passengers wearing seat belts.

“We have partnered with St. Francisville Mayor Billy D’Aquilla, District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla, Fire Chief James Wood, West Feliciana Firefighters Association, West Feliciana Parish Hospital and a few businesses to emphasize the importance of seat belts and to ‘catch’ children doing something good,” said Daniel.

Other activities include providing car seat inspections at Bains Lower Elementary School and reading to students about community helpers; participating in Spirit Day with the West Feliciana Middle School students; and handing out bracelets to the West Feliciana High School students.

The bracelets feature the WFPSO motto: Protecting with Courage, Service with Compassion.

“Any time you see law enforcement personnel or an officer this month, please take a few minutes to thank them for their service and let them know how much you appreciate their dedication,” Daniel said.