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Press Release

United States Attorney’s Office Recognizes Police Week National Police Week honors the service and sacrifice of law enforcement

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa – In honor of National Police Week, United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal recognizes the service and sacrifice of federal, state, and local law enforcement. U.S. Attorney Westphal stated, “This week we take time to pause and express our gratitude and thanks to the unwavering commitment, courage and sacrifice of law enforcement officers in protecting and serving our communities in Iowa. Every hour of every day, federal, state and local law enforcement officers place the safety of our communities above their own, and their dedication to this duty is one of the main reasons Iowa is such a great place to live. In particular, we honor the lives of Coralville Police Sergeant John Karl Williams and Fremont County Deputy Austin Melvin Richardson, who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting and serving Iowans. We stand together in remembering the brave men and women who have died in the line of duty, here in Iowa and across the nation.”

On May 5, 2023, Sergeant Williams and Deputy Richardson were honored at the 2023 Iowa Peace Officer Memorial Ceremony in Des Moines. Sergeant Williams was a 28-year veteran of the Coralville Police Department and experienced fatal health complications after responding to a report of a three-year-old child with gunshot wounds. He is survived by a wife, two sons, two daughters, and six grandchildren. Fremont County Deputy Richardson served as a police officer and deputy for 14 years. While responding to a call for service, Deputy Richardson’s patrol vehicle collided with a combine, resulting in his death. He is survived by a wife, and three daughters.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 226 federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in 2022.

In 1962, President Kennedy issued the first proclamation for Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week to remember and honor law enforcement officers for their service and sacrifices. Peace Officers Memorial Day, which every year falls on May 15, specifically honors law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty.


MacKenzie Tubbs
Public Information Officer 

Updated May 16, 2023

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