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Statement of U.S. Attorney John F. Wood

National Police Week

May 18, 2007

            This week is National Police Week – a week set aside to honor the 800,000 officers who serve in federal, state and local law enforcement agencies nationwide. National Police Week is truly a memorial to our local communities, where the contribution of law enforcement officers is deeply appreciated.

            As this week draws to a close, I wish to take this opportunity to personally thank our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners for their selfless dedication to justice and public safety. The public service professionals who serve our communities are committed and compassionate individuals. The United States Attorney’s Office is fortunate to have a strong partnership and a productive working relationship with the law enforcement officers and agencies throughout the state.

            National Police Week began Sunday with the 19th Annual Candlelight Vigil in Washington, D.C. Thousands of people lit candles in tribute to law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty, whose names were added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

            Missouri was fortunate last year – not a single officer serving in Missouri died in the line of duty in 2006, the first year without an officer fatality since 1901. However, 37 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico all lost officers during the past year.

            Although our district suffered no fatalities, there are countless stories of sacrifice and dedication in the face of danger. The recent shooting spree at the Ward Parkway shopping center is but one example, fresh in the minds of many Missourians, where a law enforcement officer was injured while performing his duty. The decisive response of law enforcement in this situation, as in so many instances, saved lives.

            It is through the exemplary efforts of all of our law enforcement officers that our communities are safe places to live and raise our families. National Police Week provides an opportunity to say thank you to each law enforcement officer for your dedicated and professional service.