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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Attorney General Sessions And U.S. Attorney Recognize Law Enforcement Service And Sacrifice During National Police Week

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

Tampa, FL – Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida Maria Chapa Lopez recognize the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local, and tribal police officers on the occasion of National Police Week and remembered those law enforcement officers killed and assaulted in 2017. The MDFL is home to more than 160 law enforcement agencies. During May 2018, communities throughout the MDFL will hold public memorial services honoring fallen officers and showing support for their families. In addition, multiple agencies will embark upon various media campaigns to strengthen connections between officers and citizens and show appreciation for the officers’ continued service.

“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.”

“Each day, somewhere in America, a man or woman puts on a uniform and steps into the unknown to answer a call for help,” said U.S. Attorney Chapa Lopez. “These brave men and women voluntarily leave the comfort of their families to assist and protect others. Too often, some do not return. This month, we pause to show our appreciation for their service and stand in honor of their sacrifices.”

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 – a 30 percent decrease from 2016, when 66 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line-of-duty. For the full comprehensive report about these incidents and selected assaults resulting in injury, please see the 2017 edition of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report, released this week. To access the FBI's 2017 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report, please visit

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

Five Middle District of Florida officers were added to the memorial this year: Deputy Julie Ann England Bridges, Hardee County Sheriff’s Office; Officer Matthew Scott Baxter, Kissimmee Police Department; Sergeant Richard Samuel Howard, III, Kissimmee Police Department; Deputy First Class Norman Cecil Lewis, Orange County Sheriff’s Office; Lieutenant Debra Lucinda Clayton, Orlando Police Department.

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.              

For more information about other National Police Week events, please visit

Community Outreach
Updated May 10, 2018