Columns

Blaine’s Bulletin: National Police Week

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Washington, May 18, 2018 | comments

Last year, 129 police officers lost their lives in the line of duty. 129 sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice. They put their lives on the line to protect their communities, and we will forever be grateful for their heroism.

President John F. Kennedy designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the corresponding week as National Police Week - an opportunity for all of us to honor our fallen officers. This week, we remember the 129 police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty last year, and the 54 officers who have lost their lives since the beginning of this year.

Missouri has lost two of our own this year. Deputy Casey Shoemate worked for the Miller County Sheriff’s office when he was killed in a tragic car accident on his way to a 911 call. Deputy Shoemate leaves behind his two children and his beloved girlfriend, Kristina. Officer Christopher Ryan Morton was a Missouri Army National Guard veteran who had served with the Clinton Police Department for three years. Tragically, Officer Morton lost his life after he was dispatched to the wrong house for a 911 call, and ambushed by the man who lived there. With heavy hearts, we remember the courage of these two young men and keep their families in our thoughts and prayers.

Stories like these are all too common, and while we remember all those who lost their lives, something must be done. This week the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protect and Serve Act, authored by my colleague from Florida, Congressman John Rutherford. In 2016, 21 police officers were killed in ambush style attacks in the line of duty – that is simply unacceptable. The Protect and Serve Act ensures that those who knowingly cause or attempt to cause significant bodily injury to any law enforcement officer are held accountable. This bill allows for the federal prosecution of anyone who attacks police officers, and I was proud to vote for this important legislation on the House Floor this week.

To those who kiss their loved-ones goodbye to run towards danger, instead of away, and dedicate their lives to protecting others – we thank you. In the face of danger, the courage and dedication of our police officers is inspiring. As National Police Week comes to a close, please join me in honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. May God bless these brave men and women and their families.

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