McConnell Honors Nation’s Law Enforcement Officers

‘Sadly, the occasion of National Police Week is also the time when we pay tribute to the brave and honorable peace officers who have fallen in the line of duty over the last year.’

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor celebrating National Police Week 2015:

“This week we welcome thousands of law-enforcement officers for National Police Week 2015. It’s a time to pay tribute to all the men and women who serve in Federal, State, and local law enforcement across America. And it’s a good time for those of us who benefit from the shield of protection that they provide—and that’s all of us—to express our gratitude.

“Police officers are here to rededicate themselves to the pursuit of justice and to honor fallen officers. We are proud to have them here in Washington.

“I want to especially recognize the many men and women who protect and serve as peace officers in my home State of Kentucky. Today I had the pleasure of meeting with some of Kentucky’s finest. I want to personally thank them for courageously risking their lives in service of people across the Commonwealth.

“Sadly, the occasion of National Police Week is also the time when we pay tribute to the brave and honorable peace officers who have fallen in the line of duty over the last year. And so I want to remember and say a few words about Kentucky’s own Deputy Sheriff Ernest T. Franklin, of the Barren County Sheriff’s Office, who died on April 2, 2014.

“Deputy Sheriff Franklin was killed in an automobile crash on Kentucky Route 90, just west of Glasgow. He was 58 years old and had served with the sheriff’s office for seven years.

“Friends and coworkers recall him as a friendly man who always had a kind word for everybody. He worshipped at Hopewell Baptist Church, volunteered at the local community center and soup kitchen, and was, by all accounts, an excellent chef.

“Deputy Sheriff Franklin put his life on the line every day to protect his fellow Kentuckians. I want to extend my deepest condolences to his family and all who knew and loved him.

“As Deputy Sheriff Ernest T. Franklin is mourned in Barren County, in Frankfort, the Kentucky State Police have created their own unique way to memorialize their fallen fellow officers. This week they unveiled a new statue called ‘The Trooper,’ a figure of a Kentucky State Trooper cast in bronze and 10 feet tall, at the Kentucky State Police Academy.

“The statue is in tribute to members of the Kentucky State Police who have given their lives in the line of duty—that’s 27 troopers and officers. It is quite an inspirational sight: a lone figure in uniform striding forward, ready to defend the property, dignity, and lives of his fellow Kentuckians.

“I know my colleagues in the U.S. Senate join me in holding the deepest admiration and respect for the many brave law-enforcement officers across Kentucky and the Nation. Theirs is both an honorable profession and a dangerous one. It is also a necessary one, because the peace and order of a civil society that we all take for granted could not exist without them.

“Kentucky is grateful for our law-enforcement officers’ service. And we are grateful for the service of Deputy Sheriff Ernest T. Franklin.

“On a related note, I was proud to cosponsor and see to Senate passage this year of the National Blue Alert Act. The bill will establish a national Blue Alert system within the U.S. Department of Justice to help catch those criminals who kill, harm, or threaten law-enforcement officers. The Blue Alert system will be similar to what the Amber Alert system does for abducted children.

“Should law-enforcement officers be killed, seriously injured, threatened, or go missing while in the line of duty, this system would be utilized to widely disseminate information to help identify and apprehend potential suspects.

“Blue Alert will help bring to justice those who harm our police officers, and hopefully help deter future violence. I was pleased to see the House passed the bill earlier this week. And with this bill, we will help protect those who put their lives on the line to protect all of us.”

Related Issues: Law Enforcement, Tributes