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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Tennessee

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey Recognize Law Enforcement Service and Sacrifice During National Police Week

FBI Releases 2017 Statistics on of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey, Eastern District of Tennessee, recognized the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local, and tribal police officers on the occasion of National Police Week, and commented on the FBI's 2017 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report. 

This week, Attorney General Sessions participated as the keynote speaker at the annual Gatlinburg Law Enforcement Training Conference, which opened with a tribute to fallen officers from the past year.  Attorney General Sessions paid tribute to the 750 local, state and federal law enforcement professionals in attendance by stating, “In this very room are some of the best people in America. You and those you lead invest their lives in their communities to protect the innocent and vulnerable. You place your lives at risk for the safety of others, for law, for America.”

Several events to commemorate National Police Week will be held across the Eastern District of Tennessee.  U.S. Attorney Overbey and other members of the U.S. Attorney’s staff will participate in many of these events in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Tri-cities.

On Tuesday, May 15, 2018, U.S. Attorney Overbey will speak at the Blount County’s Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service to be held at 11:00 a.m., in the City Courtroom building at the Alcoa Police Department, 2020 Wright Road, Alcoa, Tennessee.  Two former Alcoa police officers were recently accepted for inclusion on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.  They are: Lieutenant. Glen Giles, who died July 3, 1987, and Officer William M. Hunt, who died July 7, 1937, both in the line of duty.

 “One officer death is too many,” Attorney General Sessions said.  “While we are inexpressibly grateful to have had a decrease in the number of officers killed in the line-of-duty last year, the number is still far too high.  At the Department of Justice, we honor the memories of the fallen and we pray for their families.  We are also following President Trump's Executive Orders to back the women and men in blue, to enhance law enforcement safety, and to reduce violent crime in America. Those priorities will help keep every American safe, including those who risk their lives for us.  As always, we have their backs and they have our thanks.”

“Statistics from the Officer Down Memorial Page indicate that over 50 officers were killed in the line of duty across the nation over the past year. Many of these were firearms related.  This violence against police officers, as well as the violent acts occurring in our communities, must stop. Reducing violent crime is a major priority of the Department of Justice as well as mine,” stated U.S.  Attorney Overbey. “As the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, I am personally committed to work in partnership with state and local law enforcement to develop strategies that work in our communities and make the streets safer for everyone, including law enforcement,” added U.S. Attorney Overbey. 

According to statistics collected by the FBI, 93 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2017 – a 21 percent decrease from 2016 when 118 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents.

Additionally, in 2017 there were 46 law enforcement officers killed in line-of-duty incidents as a result of felonious acts – this is a 30 percent decrease from 2016, when 66 law enforcement officer were killed in line-of-duty incidents as a result of felonious acts.

For the full comprehensive data tables about these incidents and brief narratives describing the fatal attacks and selected assaults resulting in injury, please see the 2017 edition of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report, released today.

In October 1962, Congress passed and President Kennedy signed a joint resolution declaring May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty.  The resolution also created National Police Week as an annual tribute to law enforcement service and sacrifice.  

During Police Week, which is observed from Sunday, May 13 to Saturday, May 19, 2018, our nation celebrates the contributions of police officers from around the country, recognizing their hard work, dedication, loyalty and commitment in keeping our communities safe.

The names of all 93 fallen officers nationwide will be formally dedicated on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, during the 30th Annual Candlelight Vigil on the evening of May 13, 2018.  So that people across the country can experience this unique and powerful ceremony, the vigil will be livestreamed   beginning at 8:00 p.m. EDT on May 13th. To register for this free online event, visit www.LawMemorial.org/webcast.

The Candlelight Vigil is one of many commemorative events taking place in the nation’s capital during National Police Week 2018.

For more information about other National Police Week events, please visit www.policeweek.org.

To access the FBI's 2017 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report, please visit www.fbi.gov.

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Sharry Dedman-Beard Public Information Officer 865.225.1671 sharry.dedman-beard@usdoj.gov
Updated May 10, 2018