Statement By U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling Regarding Peace Officer’s Memorial Day
BOSTON – Today marks the 55th anniversary of Peace Officer’s Memorial Day. It is the one day of the year when we are called upon to recognize those who preserve law and order, particularly those who have been injured in the line of duty or who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our communities safe. In truth, we should be keeping our peace officers – federal agents, state troopers, police officers, probation officers, corrections officers and others – in our daily thoughts and prayers.
Being a peace officer is neither easy nor without risk. The number of firearms-related law enforcement officer fatalities is up 56% in comparison to this time last year. This is a trend that we must stop, through aggressive enforcement and by encouraging respect for the law.
Our peace officers are also at a higher risk than ever of exposure to traumatic events, resulting in a steady increase in post-traumatic stress and suicidal behavior among those who keep us safe. I cannot over-emphasize the need for improved support, training and equipment for these brave men and women. The least we can do is give them the resources they need to do their jobs. While the federal government will do its part in this area, state and local government must also prioritize the safety and well-being of their officers. Local law enforcement agencies cannot bear this responsibility alone.
To the peace officers in this Commonwealth – today and every day – you have my deepest regard and admiration. The U.S. Attorney’s Office supports you, respects you and has the greatest appreciation for what you do. To the families and loved ones of those who have died or been injured in the line of duty, we remember, and we will not forget the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf.