Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
Remarks Delivered via Teleconference
Thank you, Tom [Wheeler], for that kind welcome, and thank you and National Sheriff’s Association President, Sheriff Daron Hall, for hosting today’s webinar and inviting the Department of Justice to participate. It is a privilege to collaborate with one of the oldest and most respected law enforcement associations in the country, and to address members who are connected on today’s webinar. My first public speech as Deputy Attorney General was to the National Sheriffs Association back in June 2019; it was an honor and a privilege to address you back then and it remains so today.
Our country now faces a challenge the likes of which none of us have ever experienced. The coronavirus has upended every American’s daily life. It threatens the health of every man, woman, and child. It has disrupted business, our basic social interactions, and how government goes about doing the work of the people.
I know that the impacts of this pandemic are particularly felt by all of law enforcement. And perhaps by local law enforcement most of all. Americans look to you to keep their communities safe, and even before this health crisis came across the Pacific and hit our shores, your jobs required you to confront dangers on a daily basis and to make great sacrifices. But now, your operating environment has never been more challenging. At the Justice Department, we know that because we are seeing and experiencing it too. And we also know the consequences for doing our jobs well are also high, and how important it is to continue our tasks and protect the public in these challenging times.
Today, we have assembled a panel of representatives from across the Department of Justice to share with you the trends we have been seeing, what trends we expect to emerge, and what we are doing to address it. We think that coordinating closely with you to address these challenges is very important. After all, as I said when I spoke to you last year, everyone in law enforcement are all members of the same team.
We have had a great partnership for over 75 years. And we should always look for ways to strengthen that partnership. I anticipate that today’s discussion will only further demonstrate that we are committed to working shoulder-to-shoulder with you in service of the safety and security of the American people.
So, again, thank you so much for your time and participation today. We look forward to all the important things we can accomplish together in this battle against the coronavirus and the bad actors that want to take advantage of this pandemic. Thanks for letting me start things off today, and thank you as well for everything you do on a daily basis to serve our nation and the American people.