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Indianapolis – During the week of May 10, 2015, our nation celebrates National Police Week and commemorates police officers from around the country recognizing their hard work, dedication, loyalty and commitment to keeping our communities safe. As the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, I want to acknowledge the unselfish work performed by agents, troopers, deputies and officers from Gary to Evansville and Terre Haute to Richmond for the work that they do. Over the course of my 21year career as a federal prosecutor in Indiana, I have been privileged to work closely with truly outstanding public safety officials and I know their work is extremely dangerous and profoundly heroic.
The fact that the work these men and women perform every day is occasionally not fully appreciated, disturbs me. In 2014, 127 officers lost their lives nationwide; four in the state of Indiana. Already six officers have made the ultimate sacrifice in May of this year alone. The trend is unnerving and I pray for these officers daily. These startling numbers serve as a devastating reminder that our nation’s police officers put their life on the line every day, oftentimes for people they have never met. Their exemplary work is the foundation of trust that must exist between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
As a state, we must never lose sight of the immense and unyielding difficulties that are inherent in the law enforcement profession. When others run from danger, our law enforcement professionals run bravely toward it and face the ugliness that sometimes follows. Like any organization, our officers are not flawless, 99% of them perform their duties professionally, every day without so much as a whimper of hesitation using only the force justified by the situation.
I am asking everyone who comes in contact with an officer this week to thank them and learn to appreciate the job they do. There are many challenges that our communities and neighborhoods face and our society expects police officers to have the ability to solve every single one of them. Those challenges cannot be met by law enforcement alone. Protecting our community is everyone’s responsibility. We cannot expect safe communities without supporting them. A police department is only as effective as the community that supports it. They cannot perform without strong support from all of us.
We properly expect our officers to be diplomats yet warriors, kind yet tough, confident yet humble and make instant decisions which we lawyers take months to analyze. It is a thankless job and one that few are equipped to handle. Please join me this week in recognizing their work and being truly grateful for their dedicated service.
Josh J. Minkler
United States Attorney
Southern District of Indiana