Thousands of people recently attended the annual Police Week candlelight vigil at the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial, a place to honor the 23,229 who have made the ultimate sacrifice and to remember the 619 law enforcement heroes who were added to the roll call this year.
Just as the Memorial makes certain that our law enforcement heroes will be remembered for generations to come, we at TWG would also like to express our sincere gratitude and admiration for these fine men and women in blue. The bravery and sacrifice required to be the first to respond to calls and crimes in the name of public safety and law enforcement does not go unnoticed and we are grateful for their service and sacrifices.
We believe we can honor the fallen by supporting the law enforcement who remain among us, those working long, stressful hours to make our communities safer. The key is advocating for sound, balanced policies that will “promote officer safety and wellness and include community relationship building programs,” as stated by the Department of Justice (DOJ). It also notes that criminal justice reform that tries to do so will “empower local jurisdictions to take an all-stakeholder, non-accusatory, forward-looking approach to learning from errors after major events or crises with the goal of mitigating future risk.”
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) saw the need for balanced reform and introduced the JUSTICE Act, a criminal justice reform bill intended to offer bipartisan solutions “To help bridge the gap between law enforcement and communities by increasing training, transparency, and accountability.” Examples like this provide a base upon which better relationships between police and communities can be established.
As someone who spent more than 15 years in law enforcement, I have seen first-hand how local departments can benefit from increases in funding and support. Having the resources to properly equip, train, and pay officers keeps them safe and happy in their jobs and able to serve their communities to the best of their ability. Our brave law enforcement officers deserve more than just a week—they deserve consistent support from their communities and governments as they put their lives on the line to protect us.
Law enforcement at all levels need us to recognize their value in our communities not only during Police Week but throughout the year. This is a time to partner alongside them and support their need for additional training and resources necessary to continue to improve our nation’s ability to prevent and reduce crime, aid victims, and enhance the rule of law for all its citizens.
We are fortunate to have more than 800,000 sworn law enforcement officers willing to take on this heavy burden and we will continue to advocate for these brave officers in the years to come.