May 18, 2012
“Foreman Gunter’s extraordinary actions delayed the large group of inmates from reaching those they were pursuing, and provided time for additional staff to arrive and end the riot. There is no doubt that his sacrifice saved lives, prevented injuries – both among inmates and staff – and allowed order to be restored.”Attorney General Holder also spoke at the 14th Annual Candlelight Vigil sponsored by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. He shared the stories of bravery from members of the “thin blue line.” He remarked that the time has come to put past our differences in an effort to protect those who protect us, and said:
“Block by block, city by city, department by department – we can combat and hold totally accountable with the harshest penalties, the criminal element that menaces our communities and targets the law enforcement family.”Other department officials also participated in Police Week 2012. Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West attended the 18th Annual Blue Mass at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. The mass honors law enforcement and fire safety officers for their service. Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Director Bernard Melekian hosted an open house on Capitol Hill, meeting with congressional members and their staff to discuss upcoming law enforcement grant programs and public safety trends. Director Melekian also delivered remarks during the National Association of Police Organizations Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. He discussed the work of the department’s Officer Safety and Wellness Group, a collaboration of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and practitioners. The group works to develop initiatives designed to reduce the number of officer fatalities. At the meeting, he spoke about the department’s commitment to keeping officers safe:
“We have to continue applying resources and expertise to help find a resolution to the issue of officer fatalities. This partnership has been long overdue, but we’re fortunate to see a broader effort being made, with new components developing strategies aimed at decreasing officer deaths due to gunfire, traffic accidents and suicides.”U.S. Attorneys across the country also celebrated Police Week in their districts. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware held several events honoring officers including a law enforcement suicide prevention seminar aimed at increasing suicide awareness, improving access to resources and identifying best practices. The training was held in conjunction with the National Organization for Black Law Enforcement Executives and the Delaware Air National Guard, 166th Airlift Wing. U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, Timothy J. Heaphy, will speak at an officer’s memorial service in Tazewell, Va., this week. Events continue this weekend and throughout the month, to honor those who serve and protect every community across the country. For more information, including a detailed schedule of events for National Police Week 2012, visit www.policeweek.org.
Updated September 15, 2014