Each year the law enforcement community from across the United States comes together in Washington, D.C. to honor the fallen officers whose honorable names will be added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial.
It is a solemn week of paying homage to the courageous police officers who protect us all and put their lives on the line every day as they work to enforce the rule of law and keep our communities safe.
Unfortunately, there has been a recent change in attitude toward these American heroes, and it needs to stop.
It has been very disturbing to witness the “Defund the Police” movement gain support and attention when the United States is facing a meteoric rise in crime.
Here at home, the Fort Worth Police Department has compiled data reflecting that in 2021, assaults against our citizens increased by 14%.
Our Texas law enforcement officers face the added challenge of defending our community against a surge in cartel and gang activity at our Southern border, who are flooding our state and country with Fentanyl and other illicit drugs. Fentanyl seizures alone in the United States increased 134% last year.
In 2021, 346 American police officers were shot in the line of duty, which is an all-time high. Tragically, 63 died from those murderous attacks. So far this year, 105 law enforcement officers have been killed on the job.
It is not surprising that retention issues now plague departments across the nation as more and more demoralized officers are choosing to get out of the profession. With the “Defund” movement aiming to slash budgets, many police departments are understaffed and overworked in jobs that are becoming increasingly more dangerous. A survey of over 200 departments revealed that retirements were up last year by 45%.
Rogue policies adopted in many of our largest cities are making it impossible to keep dangerous criminals off the streets. Eliminating cash bail and implementing lax sentencing are creating a revolving-door criminal justice system, where even violent offenders are released back to the streets expeditiously. In many cities, police officers are discouraged from arresting criminals for specific offenses that will inevitably escalate when gone unpunished.
With the past two years being the most violent on record, Americans are understandably afraid.
It is time to end anti-police rhetoric and instead invest heavily in law enforcement to provide them with the resources they need and to encourage new recruits to join the noble occupation. Rather than sending messages of discouragement, we should regularly show our deep appreciation for the work of these courageous public servants.
Supporting our police officers is not a political issue. The men and women who risk their lives every day are America’s finest. The protection they provide creates peace of mind for our children and families and provides community confidence, which allows for business and families to thrive. And by producing a more secure environment, the less advantaged are given opportunities to succeed.
America cannot be free if we do not respect the rule of law. It is imperative that we bolster the needs of the warriors who are relied upon to be the enforcers.
And when we show them the support and backing that they deserve, we show our deepest gratitude for those heroes whose names are forever etched on the National Law Enforcement Memorial.