Friday, December 19, 2014

GRISSOM: Placing safety of others above their own

By BARRY GRISSOM, U.S. Attorney, District of Kansas | 5/12/2014

[Editor’s note: May 10 through May 16 is National Police Week.]

[Editor’s note: May 10 through May 16 is National Police Week.]

Every day, law enforcement officers risk their lives to protect the citizens and communities of Kansas. I want to take this occasion to recognize them for their service and sacrifice, and to remember the officers who were injured or killed in the line of duty.

More than 900,000 law enforcement officers serve in communities across the United States. Nearly 60,000 assaults against law enforcement officers resulting in about 16,000 injuries are reported each year. Since the first recorded death in 1791, more than 20,000 law enforcement officers in the United States have made the ultimate sacrifice and been killed in the line of duty.

Law enforcement officer fatalities have dropped for the second year in a row to the lowest level in six decades and the number of officers killed in firearms-related incidents this year was the fewest since the 1800s. In 2011, officer fatalities spiked, which led to a number of new initiatives aimed at promoting law enforcement safety. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas took part in the U.S. Justice Department’s programs to urge law enforcement agencies to require officers to wear bullet-resistant vests. The Justice Department also formed the National Officer Safety and Wellness Group and the VALOR program, which provides training to help prevent violence against officers and to help officers survive violent encounters when they do occur.

I want to thank the men and women of the law enforcement community who are doing great work every day in our neighborhoods and communities of Kansas. It is a privilege to travel the state and to meet these outstanding individuals in the police departments, sheriff’s offices and courthouses across Kansas. I am inspired and humbled by their honor, integrity and heroism.

Barry Grissom is U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas.

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