(Senate - May 15, 2002)

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[Pages S4382-S4383]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. CAMPBELL. Mr. President, today more than 15,000 peace officers 
are expected to gather in Washington, D.C. to join with and honor the 
families of federal, state, and local officers who were killed in the 
line of duty.

[[Page S4383]]

  On March 17, I was joined by Senators Leahy, Hatch, Allard, Cantwell, 
Gregg, Rockefeller, Bingaman, Biden, Bunning, Cochran, Allen, Thomas, 
and Hutchinson in introducing S. Res. 221, to keep alive in the memory 
of all Americans the sacrifice and commitment of those law enforcement 
officers who lost their lives serving their communities. Specifically, 
this resolution would designate May 15, 2002, as National Peace 
Officers Memorial Day. These heroes have established for themselves an 
enviable and enduring reputation for preserving the rights and security 
of all citizens. This resolution is a fitting tribute for this special 
and solemn occasion.
  As a former deputy sheriff, I know first-hand the risks which law 
enforcement officers face every day on the front lines protecting our 
communities. Currently, more than 700,000 men and women who serve this 
nation as our guardians of law and order do so at a great risk. Every 
year, about 1 in 9 officers is assaulted, 1 in 25 officers is injured, 
and 1 in 4,400 officers is killed in the line of duty. There are few 
communities in this country that have not been impacted by the words 
``officer down.''
  On September 11, 2001, 70 peace officers died at the World Trade 
Center in New York City as a result of a cowardly act of terrorism. 
This single act of terrorism resulted in the highest number of peace 
officers ever killed in a single incident in the history of this 
country. Thirty-seven of those fallen heroes served with the Port 
Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department; twenty-three 
were New York City police officers; three worked for the New York 
Office of Court Administration; five were with the New York Office of 
Tax Enforcement; one was an FBI special agent; and one was a master 
special officer with the U.S. Secret Service. Before this event, the 
greatest loss of law enforcement life in a single incident occurred in 
1917, when nine Milwaukee police officers were killed in a bomb blast 
at their police station. Yet the incredible bravery and selfless 
sacrifice our officers displayed that day was no different that any 
other day of the year in communities across America.
  In 2001, more than 230 federal, state and local law enforcement 
officers gave their lives in the line of duty. This represents more 
than a 57 percent increase in police fatalities over the previous year. 
And, in total, nearly 15,000 men and women have made the supreme 
sacrifice. We owe all of our police officers a huge debt of gratitude 
for the invaluable work they do.
  As we gather on this special day here in Washington, D.C. and 
nationwide to honor our fallen heroes, we must be ever vigilant and 
remember those outstanding men and women who continue to put their 
lives on the line so that we may continue to enjoy the freedom we have.