Blaine's Bulletin: National Police Week 2023

In the U.S. we are fortunate to have more than 800,000 sworn law enforcement officers. These men and women sign up to put their communities before themselves every single day. In most areas of our country, American families are able to have their kids ride bikes around the neighborhood, walk their dogs, and sleep soundly at night because we have the peace of mind knowing these brave officers are a 911 call away. This week is National Police Week and a great time to acknowledge how incredible our men and women in law enforcement truly are. These steadfast defenders of our towns and cities have one of the most difficult jobs out there. They run straight into danger without a second thought while everyone else is running toward safety, risking their lives to protect others. Police officers are some of the most selfless Americans you can find, as they put the safety and security of their communities over their own. We are incredibly fortunate to have these heroes standing at the ready to answer the call, and I hope you’ll join me in thanking a police officer for their service to Missouri and our community if you get the chance. 

On March 12th, the Third District lost an officer in the line of duty.  Detective Sergeant Mason Griffith is one of the greatest examples of public service I have ever encountered. He was a Detective Sergeant for the Hermann Police Department, the Chief of Police of the Rosebud Police Department, a Reserve Deputy of the Gasconade Country Sheriff’s Department, and a member of the Gerald-Rosebud Fire Department. God hasn’t made many men like Mason Griffith. While responding to call at a local convenience store Sgt. Griffith was shot and killed.  For all of us in Missouri, it was a horrible tragedy that left us less safe and without one of our most honorable men. For the Griffith family, it was life shattering, and a cruel reality they must now live with forever. The families of law enforcement also sacrifice day in and day out for their communities, and Sgt. Griffith’s wife and two children will feel the pain of that sacrifice for eternity. We can never thank them enough for their family’s service to our district and state. 

Nationwide, the last few years have been some of the most challenging and dangerous for law enforcement officers, especially in and around larger cities. You’ll notice that calls to “defund the police” have gotten quieter as the majority of Americans have woken up and realized that law enforcement is more necessary than ever. But they haven’t gone away completely. Some members of the far-left remain defiant against the men and women who keep us – and them – safe. This week, my fellow Missouri Representative, Congresswoman Cori Bush was one of two members in the entire House who voted against honoring police officers killed in the line of duty. This is someone who refuses to honor the memories of police officers who laid down their lives for their country, while she has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on private security for herself. The hypocrisy and lack of respect for law enforcement is staggering. It also illustrates the belief that safety is only reserved for those who can afford it – she pays for it with other people’s money.  

The crime in our country has truly hit crisis levels, and lawmakers need to come together to find solutions that support law enforcement and do away with soft on crime policies that have become far too commonplace. This week, in observance of National Police Week, House Republicans passed several measures to support law enforcement, one of them being the resolution to honor their sacrifice that my colleague couldn’t stomach. Others include the ability for officers to better protect themselves and harsher punishments for assaulting officers. Every hour of every day, law enforcement officers have our back. The only moral and ethical thing to do is for us to have theirs.