DOJ Seal

THE SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL

NATIONAL PEACE OFFICERS' MEMORIAL SERVICE






REMARKS OF ATTORNEY GENERAL JANET RENO






FRIDAY, MAY 15, 1998














On the West Front of the U.S. Capitol

Washington, D.C.

P R O C E E D I N G S

(1:35 p.m.)

OFFICER GALLEGOS: We are so fortunate in law enforcement to have so many able men and women at the highest levels of government who share our common mission to protect and serve our community. Attorney General Janet Reno is among them, and we are glad to count her among the many friends of the Fraternal Order of Police and of law enforcement.

Madam Attorney General, welcome.

(Applause.)

REMARKS OF ATTORNEY GENERAL JANET RENO

GENERAL RENO: Thank you, Gil. Thank you for your leadership in defending and promoting the interest of police officers who are on the front lines on the streets of America.

I have been Attorney General for a little over five years. I have had a chance to travel across this country to see police officers in action in their communities, in their counties, on the border, across the seas.

I can tell you that never have I been so proud of America's law enforcement. They do such a wonderful job for the people of this Nation day in and day out under difficult circumstances. They are willing to put their lives on the line. And, those that we honor today have done just that under incredible circumstances and with the ultimate dedication to the people as their motivation.

I have seen the homicide detective come up to me as I visited his city, describing in detail what he had gone through to perfect an arrest that had resulted in a conviction.

I have had a chance to talk with the FBI agent who participated in the World Trade Center investigation and saw the pride he had in what his colleagues had done. And, I was proud too.

I have seen the deputy sheriff in a small, rural area in the West make such a difference, and watched the people of his community just look at him with regard and friendship. He was their friend. He was a person who brought his community together.

I have seen a border patrol agent on a lonely, lonely stretch of desert border, standing guard for this Nation.

I have seen correctional officers under difficult circumstances in maximum security prisons do incredible things while still believing that they could make a difference.

I have seen chiefs of police promote professionalism across this land.

I sometimes hear critics of police, but they are drowned out by the overwhelming chorus of all Americans who are speaking out in support of their police. Police bring America's communities together.

I have seen their families, heroes and heroines themselves, people who wait and who don't know what will happen until the end of the shift, people who are supportive, who care, who join in and take great pride in all that their spouses do.

And then, I have been to the funerals--in a small Vermont church, in a lonely Texas cemetery, in a far, far hill. Wherever it is--in Washington, D.C., Vermont, in that lonely Texas cemetery--people are there to stand up and care for those that gave the ultimate sacrifice.

I leave those funeral services inspired and motivated, resolved to do as much as I can to try to do a better job to serve the American people and to serve the interest of law enforcement.

We honor so many wonderful people today. They, with their strength and their courage and their dedication, have given us this magnificent Nation, this democracy that we hold dear. Let us go forth from here today resolved to do an even better job to carry on what they have started.

(Applause.)

(Whereupon, the remarks ended at 1:35 p.m.)