Today, in the United States, some 900,000 law enforcement officers put their lives on the line for the safety and protection of others. They serve with valor and distinction – and with great success. Federal statistics show that violent and property crime rates in the United States are at historic lows, thanks in large measure to the dedicated service of the men and women of law enforcement.
That protection comes at a price, however. Each year, there are approximately 60,000 assaults on law enforcement officers, resulting in nearly 16,000 injuries. Sadly, over the last decade, an average of 160 officers a year have been killed in the line of duty.
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Each year, America sets aside a week to salute the men and women who do the difficult, dangerous, and often thankless work of safeguarding our communities. Our Nation's peace officers embody the very idea of citizenship -- that along with our rights come responsibilities, both to ourselves and to others. During Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week, we celebrate those who protect and serve us every minute of every day, and we honor the courageous officers who devoted themselves so fully to others that in the process they laid down their lives.
As we mourn the fallen, let us also remember how they lived. With unflinching commitment, they defended our schools and businesses. They guarded prisons; patrolled borders; and kept us safe at home, on the road, and as we went about our lives. To their families, we owe an unpayable debt. And to the men and women who carry their mission forward, we owe our unyielding support.
Our Nation has an obligation to ensure that as police officers face untold risks in the line of duty, we are doing whatever we can to protect them. This means providing all necessary resources so they can get the job done, hiring new officers where they are needed most, and investing in training to prepare those on the front lines for potentially deadly situations. It also means making reforms to curb senseless epidemics of violence that threaten law enforcement officers and haunt the neighborhoods they serve.
Just as police officers never let down their guard, we must never let slide our gratitude. We should extend our thanks not only in times of tragedy, but for every tragedy averted -- every accident avoided because a patrol officer took a drunk driver off the streets, every child made safer because a criminal was brought to justice, every life saved because police officers raced to the scene. In other words, we must show our gratitude every day.
By a joint resolution approved October 1, 1962, as amended (76 Stat. 676), and by Public Law 103-322, as amended (36 U.S.C. 136-137), the President has been authorized and requested to designate May 15 of each year as "Peace Officers Memorial Day" and the week in which it falls as "Police Week."
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.
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