Column

Blessed are the Peacemakers

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Washington, May 16, 2017 | comments

Law enforcement officers from coast to coast wake up each day, put on their uniform, and put themselves in harm’s way in order to ensure our friends, neighbors, and communities remain safe and peaceful. They volunteer for this service, because those they protect and serve are their friends and neighbors as well. Theirs is a service of duty and sacrifice.

May 14 – 20, 2017 marks National Police Week. National Police Week began in 1962 as a way to honor those law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Today and every day, we remember those whose didn’t come home and their families who are left with a void.
 

 
Since 2016, nine of these selfless heroes have fallen in the line of duty. This week we honor their memory. Blessed are the peacemakers

Dep. Sheriff Jimmy Tennyson
Maury County Sheriff's Department
Sergeant Sean Lewis Allred
Livingston Police Department
Officer Eric Wayne Mumaw
Metro Nashville Police Department
Deputy Sheriff Zachary Tyler Larnerd
Jackson County Sheriff's Office
Officer Kenneth Ray Moats
Maryville Police Department
Sergeant Verdell Smith, Sr
Memphis Police Department
Special Agent De'Greaun Reshun Frazier
TN Bureau of Investigation
K9 Vigor
Monroe County Sheriff's Office
Dep. Sheriff Martin Tase Sturgill, II
Humphreys County Sheriff's Office
   

 
National Police Week is also a time for us to show our appreciation for those who patrol our streets day in and day out, keeping our neighborhoods safe. In the House of Representatives this week we are passing a number of bills aimed at providing law enforcement the tools they need to keep our communities safe. These include:

·   The Rapid DNA Act of 2017 (H.R. 510). This bill helps identify the guilty and free the innocent by allowing Rapid DNA analysis machines to be used at local police stations. Rapid DNA technology expedites DNA analysis for suspect identification purposes and allows local law enforcement to accurately identify a suspect within hours, as opposed to weeks when evidence is shipped off to a lab.

·   The Honoring Hometown Heroes Act (H.R. 1892). This legislation honors law enforcement by permitting the American flag to be flown at half-staff when a police officer, firefighter, or first responder is killed in the line of duty.

·   The Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act of 2017 (H.R. 1616). This bill authorizes a program that has been run by the U.S. Secret Service for a number of years that trains state and local law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges regarding cyber and electronic crimes.

·   The American Law Enforcement Heroes Act of 2017 (H.R. 1428). This legislation prioritizes the hiring of veterans by awardees of grants under the COPS hiring program.

·   The Probation Officer Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 1039). This bill protects public safety by giving probation officers the authority, while in the performance of their official duties, to arrest a person if there is probable cause to believe that the person has forcibly assaulted, resisted, opposed, impeded, intimidated, or interfered with the probation officer, or a fellow probation officer, in the performance of his or her duties.

·   The Thin Blue Line Act (H.R. 115). This legislation adds the murder of a state or local police officer as an aggravating factor for a jury to consider in deciding whether to impose the death penalty in federal capital cases. The murder of a federal law enforcement officer is already an aggravating factor under current law. The legislation sends a simple message that the stalking and killing of law enforcement officers must not and will not be tolerated.

With a simple “thank you” we can recognize the sacrifices of these selfless servants. They do not take their work for granted, though we often may. They face the dangers of the world, they see the despair in society, and they deal with the vulnerabilities of our neighborhoods. They do so not for recognition or glory. They do so for us.

To all who have served, those serving today, and those who will serve:

 

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