We need to support our law enforcement professionals. [Opinion]
The United States has seen an increased rate of fatalities in the line of duty by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Frankly, they were executions!
The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that 59 law enforcement professionals were killed while on duty in 2021. This is a 51% increase from the previous year and is unacceptable to the vast majority of Americans who support our law enforcement professionals.
All of these 59 were murdered. Recently a Baltimore Police Officer, while sitting in her patrol car, was executed by an armed man who was free on bail. This officer was a mother and wife and was executed because she was ready to be a police officer.
These deaths destroy families and have an emotional impact on those who serve as peace offices or on support staff. Peace officers are a very united group. Most have gone through a mentally and physically challenging academy, train for a long period of probation, and many serve side by side with the same men and women.
As a senior executive at one of the country’s largest law enforcement agencies, I had the honor of attending the National memorial of law enforcement officers in Washington, DC, for six consecutive years and another year as Chief of Staff.
These ceremonies are unique – and a sobering reminder of the sacrifice of the 22,000 officers who died in the line of duty here in the United States. These figures date back to 1786 when the first peace officer died in the line of duty.
What’s especially special about this Memorial Week for Peace Officers in Washington, DC, is the fact that the President of the United States sits down to meet families who have lost a loved one on our nation’s Capitol and then is intended for peace enforcement officials, sworn personnel and local, regional, national and state law enforcement support.
Patrol cars from many cities, counties and states are also present with peace officers on site. A full week of ceremonies celebrating the lives and sacrifices of professional police officers also takes place. It is a series of ceremonies and seminars that recognize the sacrifices of officers and, just as important, provide support to the families of the missing. Similar ceremonies take place in most states, counties and cities.
After a year that saw riots in many cities and attacks on law enforcement in 2021, it is a relief that we are not resting more peace officers.
Many left-wing officials have cut funding, believe social workers are the answer to societal problems and that we need to further hamper law enforcement with bailouts for all and parole for incarcerated people.
it does not work ! If this were the case, we would not have recorded attacks against more than 60,000 members of the police force. Some 9,895 law enforcement agencies reported these numbers to the FBI in 2021. They are also records and look bad on Americans.
These are alarming figures! Elected officials at all levels, from the president to the city council, including the alderman and municipal commissioners, should support our peace officers. This means adequate funding to meet the challenges faced by law enforcement professionals Protecting local communities, a state and our nation.
Many young women and men wanted to be part of the law enforcement team. However, record retirements and overprotection of convicted and suspected criminals weigh heavily on recruitment. You can’t blame these young men and women for rethinking their careers in public safety.
If you’ve watched most cable and network news over the past year, it’s the season for criticism of law enforcement. The ugly names and expressions intended for them are unwarranted and the vast majority are not true.
Yes, an infinitesimal number of officers have used force which is not in accordance with policy. Yes, improving policy is being addressed by federal, state, regional and municipal law enforcement agencies across the country. Most law enforcement officials and unions welcome changes that improve public safety and policing.
We need to support our law enforcement officials. We need to support our law enforcement professionals. We must also teach our children to respect those who serve. Confidence must be restored in our law enforcement agencies. Peaceful demonstrations are welcome and constitute a fundamental right.
We are at a point in this country where we need a National Bill of Rights for Peace Officers. What these laws can look like should be shaped by the public and law enforcement officials who can proactively work to make Americans safe again.
If we want safer streets and communities, we must face the fact that a law enforcement community must have our appreciation, respect and gratitude.
Attracting current and future law enforcement professionals should be above political positions and be about protecting those who serve and those they serve.
To those who serve, thank you. You are liked by the vast majority of Americans.
- Officers attend funeral of slain officer: Shutterstock