Statement of U.S. Attorney John H. Durham in Recognition of National Police Week
In my 40-year career as a state and federal prosecutor, I have had the pleasure of working side by side with hundreds of federal, state and local law enforcement officers in the cause of justice. As a group, they are the finest people anyone could hope to know and work with. I have the greatest respect and admiration for these men and women, whose mission encompasses the most dangerous work undertaken in our communities.
A quote attributed to George Orwell reminds us of the debt we owe to members of law enforcement: “We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”
In 1962, President Kennedy signed a proclamation designating today, May 15, as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week surrounding this date as National Police Week, to honor federal, state and municipal officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. So far this year, 53 brave men and women of law enforcement have lost their lives in service to the citizens of the United States. That figure includes Connecticut State Police Trooper First Class Kevin M. Miller, who was tragically killed in a vehicle crash on I-84 in Tolland on March 29.
Please take a moment today to remember them, and their families and loved ones who live with their loss.
I also encourage all to take some time this year to visit the Connecticut Law Enforcement Memorial, located at the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden. The Memorial, which was dedicated in 1989, recognizes the sacrifice of 139 men and women of law enforcement who died in service to the people of Connecticut. This year, three more names will be added to the memorial, including Trooper Miller.
While most of us are fortunate to be able to live our lives freely without fear for our physical safety, too many of us take for granted that, in times of trouble, the police will be there to protect us from harm. For this, we owe a debt of gratitude to all officers, detectives, troopers and agents, who put themselves at risk every day for the safety of our communities, for our peace of mind, and for the security of our loved ones. It has been, and continues to be, my great honor to be able to work with all of them.