Reps. Scalise, Stauber: Peace Officers Memorial Day – In National Police Week, remember and say thanks

Police reform should not be approached in a ‘hyper-partisan’ way: Scalise

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise argues that people pushing for police defunding will ‘undermine the work of good cops.’

Our police officers, and their families, make incredible sacrifices so that we are able to work, live, and raise our families in the safest communities possible. We should thank the brave men and women of law enforcement every single day. They put their lives on the line in order to protect us, and keep us safe. 

As National Police Week comes to a close, we honor the lives and legacies of those courageous police officers who proudly wore the uniform, served the communities in which they lived, and made the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of their duties. Also, we must reject the vile attacks against our law enforcement heroes and defend them by speaking out against calls to defund the police.

In 1962, President Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15th as “Peace Officers Memorial Day”, and the week in which May 15th falls as “Police Week.” Before COVID-19, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from across the country would travel to our nation’s capital and participate in several events that were designed to honor their brothers and sisters in blue who made the supreme sacrifice when keeping their fellow citizens safe.

In 2021, as of today, there have been 125 police officers nationwide who have died in the line of duty, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. These officers, and their families, remain in our prayers. We will never forget these heroes. 

Make no mistake. Defunding the police will make us more vulnerable to crime, and risk officer safety on the job. In 2020, the United States recorded over 20,000 homicides, a 25 percent increase, compared to the number of murders in 2019. 

When the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey scaled back policing after the George Floyd protests, violent crime surged because there were fewer police officers on duty proactively monitoring their communities. 

If police departments have their budgets slashed, fewer officers will be able to patrol their streets, and thus, provide effective community policing. As we have seen in poorly-run cities, like Seattle and Minneapolis, cutting funding for police departments has resulted in an alarming dramatic uptick in violent crime. 

It’s the “Thin Blue Line” that shields us from those who wish to do us harm. We can protect our law enforcement officers, and our communities, by standing up, and having our officers’ backs when radical extremists try to defund police departments or malign our frontline heroes.

Right now, crime is increasing across the country because of the hostile rhetoric and harsh treatment aimed towards law enforcement officers and because of calls to defund police departments. This is unacceptable.

Our law enforcement officers do not do their job for glory. Their satisfaction comes from protecting and serving the public on a daily basis. Our police officers know that their actions make a difference in our communities. Their commitment makes our country a better and safer place. 

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