Vermont U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan Recognizes National Police Week
This year, May 13-19 is National Police Week. During Police Week, our nation celebrates the contributions of police officers from around the country, recognizing their hard work, dedication, loyalty and commitment in protecting our communities. In 1962, Congress enacted a joint resolution, which President John F. Kennedy signed, declaring May 15 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. According to statistics collected by the FBI, 93 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2017. Additionally, in 2017, there were 46 law enforcement officers killed in line-of-duty incidents as a result of felonious acts. Many will travel to Washington D.C. this week for a candlelight vigil at the National Memorial to honor fallen officers.
The United States Attorney’s Office would like to take the opportunity this week – as we should every day – to recognize the outstanding work of federal, state, local, and county law enforcement officers in Vermont. We are so very fortunate to live in the Green Mountain State. Vermont is an extraordinarily attractive place to reside, and that is due, in no small part, to the tireless efforts of officers at all levels of law enforcement to keep us safe. Quietly and consistently, they put themselves in harm’s way to protect their communities. They make decisions every day to stand on the front lines of our campaigns to combat violence, unlawful firearms activity, drug trafficking, and other dangerous crime. This is a tremendous daily sacrifice – on the part of officers, to be sure – but also on the part of their families and loved ones. We must never take for granted their sacrifices and their heroic work. We are especially gifted in our small state by the consistent collaborative efforts of law enforcement. Federal, state, local, and county officers come together in Vermont every day to promote public safety and common interest. They do not ask what’s in it for them, or who gets the glory; they are focused solely on protecting Vermonters.
We at the U.S. Attorney’s Office are proud of our strong and special relationships with law enforcement at all levels – federal, state, local, and county. We are committed to ensuring that we maintain partnerships with law enforcement officers at every level, and in every corner of the state. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also appreciates our strong partnerships with the Vermont Attorney General’s Office and the State’s Attorneys in each of Vermont’s fourteen counties. We recognize that these relationships are of the utmost importance, and we understand that Vermonters and the police are best served when prosecutors unite in support of law enforcement’s collaborative efforts.
The recent and disturbing spate of violent crime across the state – including homicides, shootings in populous areas, drug-related violence, and armed robberies – brings the heroic work of our law enforcement officers into stark relief. They are not only the first responders to these frightening events and those tasked with apprehending dangerous offenders, they also investigate and solve these serious crimes. The U.S. Attorney’s Office places a premium on supporting law enforcement efforts to combat violent crime in Vermont. We will work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to bring violent offenders to justice. We have appointed an experienced, talented, and dedicated prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Wendy Fuller, – a Vermonter who previously served as a Deputy State’s Attorney, – to spearhead the USAO’s antiviolence campaign in Vermont. She is developing a statewide program designed to ensure that the USAO is deploying its resources and appropriately assisting federal, state, local, and county law enforcement in cases involving violence and unlawful firearms activity. Among other things, AUSA Fuller is helping to coordinate law enforcement efforts in violent crime cases; gathering intelligence concerning violent offenders; performing USAO intake in violent crime matters; and interfacing with State’s Attorneys regarding such matters. AUSA Fuller is also crisscrossing the state with an experienced ATF Special Agent, providing trainings to state, local, and county law enforcement officers and State’s Attorneys concerning federal laws relating to firearms and violence. We are committed to ensuring that state, local, and county law enforcement officers are aware of the resources and support that federal prosecutors and agents can provide in such cases.
There is no way to overstate the USAO’s support and gratitude for our law enforcement officers in Vermont. We thank you and your families and loved ones for your dedication and your sacrifice. Your commitment and service keep Vermonters safer every day and help to bring justice to those who would imperil the safety of our innocent citizens. We look forward to continuing to join in common cause to promote public safety. And we join you, during National Police Week and always, in honoring the injured and the fallen amongst your ranks.