Attorney General Sessions and U.S. Attorney Troester Recognize Law Enforcement Service and Sacrifice During National Police Week
OKLAHOMA CITY—Attorney General Sessions and Acting U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester recognized the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local, and tribal police officers on the occasion of National Police Week. They also commented on the FBI's 2017 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report.
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 and recognizes their hard work, dedication, and commitment to keeping our communities safe.
Two events in Oklahoma City will honor police service. On Friday, May 18, at 10:00 am, the names of six law enforcement officers will be added to the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial during the fiftieth annual service at the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety Headquarters, 3600 N. Martin Luther King Avenue. The six officers are Perkins Police Officer Henry L. Cotton, Department of Corrections Corporal Stephen R. Jenkins, Craig County Deputy Sheriff Sean F. Cookson, Tecumseh Police Officer Justin M. Terney, Logan County Deputy Sheriff David J. Wade, and Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lieutenant D. Heath Meyer. Officer Cotton passed away in 1986 after an altercation during an arrest. The other five officers lost their lives in the line of duty during 2017.
Later that day, at 2:00 pm, the Oklahoma City Police Department will conduct its annual service to honor fallen officers. That event will take place at Department headquarters, 700 Colcord Drive.
"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."
"All of us rely on law enforcement officers to keep us safe in the face of threats, many violent in nature," said Acting U.S. Attorney Troester. "The sacrifices of fallen officers and their families deserve the utmost appreciation of all citizens, not just the law enforcement community. We are committed to support our dedicated federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners to ensure their safety while reducing violent crime in Oklahoma."
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.
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 officer were killed in line-of-duty incidents as a result of felonious acts.
For the full comprehensive data tables about these incidents and brief narratives describing the fatal attacks and selected assaults resulting in injury, please see the 2017 edition of the FBI’s Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report, released this week, at www.fbi.gov.
The names of all 93 fallen officers nationwide in 2017 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 pm EDT on May 13. To register for this free online event, visit www.lawmemorial.org/webcast. In addition to the six officers named above, two other Oklahoma law enforcement officers will be among more than 300 names added to the National Memorial: Logan County Deputy Sheriff Edward J. Wright, who died in 2016, and Sac & Fox Nation Police Officer Nathan B. Graves, who died in 2017.
The Candlelight Vigil is one of many commemorative events taking place in the nation’s capital during National Police Week 2018. For more information about other National Police Week events, please visit www.policeweek.org.