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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 14, 2018

U.S. Attorney Kennedy Recognizes Law Enforcement Service And Sacrifice During National Police Week

CONTACT:  Barbara Burns
PHONE:      (716) 843-5817
FAX #:         (716) 551-3051

FBI Releases 2017 Statistics on of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted
BUFFALO, NY – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. is joining with Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recognize the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local, and tribal police officers during National Police Week, May 13-19, 2018.

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.

Among the 93 killed was Buffalo Police Officer Craig Lehner who drowned during a training exercise in the Niagara River. Lehner’s body was recovered on October 17, 2017. Officer Lehner’s name and the names of all 93 fallen officers nationwide were 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. 

“While it takes many important attributes to be a successful police officer – courage, toughness, intelligence – the one attribute shared by the very best in the law enforcement profession is a sense of selfless love,” said U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “Love for their fellow man. Love for their community. Love for the rule of law. Love for their country.”

“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.”

During Police Week, 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. A number of commemorative events are taking place across the country and locally. U.S. Attorney Kennedy took part the Law Enforcement Memorial Service in Buffalo this morning at St. Joseph Cathedral. Tomorrow, May 15, he will take part in the New York State Police Troop “A” Memorial Service in Batavia, NY.  

U.S. Attorney Kennedy further stated, “I offer condolences to the families of our fallen heroes and a humble thanks to all of the men and women of federal, state and local law enforcement – living and deceased. Though they cover their hearts with badges, through those badges shine some of the finest hearts known to humanity. Today we honor those in law enforcement who give their hearts, and their lives, for their fellow man.”

Of the 93 officers killed in 2017, 46 were killed in line-of-duty incidents as a result of felonious acts – this is a 30 percent decrease from 2016, when 66 law enforcement officer were killed in line-of-duty incidents as a result of felonious acts.

For more information on the 2017 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report, go to https://ucr.fbi.gov/leoka/2017.

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. 

For more information about other National Police Week events, please visit www.policeweek.org.

Updated May 15, 2018