McConnell Honors Law Enforcement Officers During National Police Week
'America’s peace officers deserve our respect and recognition every day. But in recent years, Peace Officers Memorial Day has taken on an especially urgent significance.'
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding National Police Week and crime:
“This week, thousands of law enforcement officers have gathered in Washington to honor their fallen brothers and sisters in blue.
“Every year since 1962, Peace Officers Memorial Day has called our nation to pay special tribute to heroic men and women in our communities who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe.
“Throughout Police Week, peace officers and families from around the country mourn loved ones and find shared strength. Today, we remind the families and comrades of these fallen heroes that a grateful nation has their backs.
“As always, I am honored to welcome the Kentuckians who have traveled to Washington for this week’s events. My staff continue to work closely with Kentucky law enforcement and to listen to their concerns.
“Like many in my home state, I’m thinking especially of the Kentuckians we lost in the line of duty this past year:
“Officer Logan Medlock of the London Police Department, who was fatally struck by a drunk driver while patrolling on duty.
“Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jody Cash of the Calloway County Sheriff’s Department, who was shot and killed while interviewing a suspect.
“Captain Ralph Frasure and Officer Jacob Chaffins of the Prestonsburg Police Department and Deputy William Petry of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department, who were shot and killed in an ambush while attempting to serve a warrant.
“And the seven other Kentuckians whose names are being enshrined today on the National Law Enforcement Memorial: James Critchelow, Travis Hurley, Oliver Little, Gregory Means, Mark Pike, David Ragle, and Dixon Allen Sasser.
“I also want to pay special tribute to Officer Nickolas Wilt, who was shot in the head while responding to last month’s bank shooting in Downtown Louisville. Officer Wilt was just 11 days out of the Academy, but he never shied away from his duty, even in the face of imminent danger.
“Today, Officer Wilt is continuing to show signs of improvement, and the city of Louisville stands behind him on the road to recovery.
“As we honor officers in Kentucky and across the country who have been injured or killed in the line of duty, I know my colleagues join me in thanking the peace officers who continue to run toward danger to keep us safe.
“Mr. President, Police Week is an important and solemn occasion every year. America’s peace officers deserve our respect and recognition every day. But in recent years, Peace Officers Memorial Day has taken on an especially urgent significance.
“In 2021, President Biden’s first year in office, the number of law enforcement officers feloniously killed in the line of duty reached its highest level in 20 years.
“Just last year, 331 officers were shot on the job. 62 of them were killed. That’s a 32% increase from just two years earlier.
“Brave men and women in blue swear to uphold law and order, to run toward danger, and even to give their lives to protect their communities. But as a radical, soft-on-crime movement has taken hold of elected Democrats at every level of government, peace officers have been forced to bear an even heavier burden.
“Brave peace officers have faced down an historic wave of violent crime from the front lines, even as defund-the-police radicalism forced them to do it with fewer resources and thinner ranks.
“They’ve continued to risk their lives to enforce our laws, even as soft-on-crime liberal prosecutors do everything they can to avoid holding criminals accountable.
“So this week, we honor men and women whose tough job is only getting tougher on Washington Democrats’ watch.
“But thanks to the leadership of Senator Cornyn and Senator Cassidy, Senate Republicans are ready to take action to protect law enforcement officers in the line of duty.
“Our colleagues from Texas and Louisiana have introduced legislation to raise the stakes for criminals who resort to violence against police.
“Their bill would deliver new federal mandatory sentencing for killing a police officer, higher consequences for assault, and new separate penalties for fleeing such crimes across state lines.
“As our nation observes Police Week, I’m proud to co-sponsor our colleagues’ work, and to continue to back the blue.”
Related Issues: House Democrats, Crime, Senate Democrats, Law Enforcement