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.
PEACE OFFICERS MEMORIAL DAY AND POLICE WEEK, 2015
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Our law enforcement officers have extraordinarily tough jobs. They regularly work in dangerous environments and in difficult, high-tension situations. And they often face challenges deeply rooted in systemic problems and broader social issues. These professionals serve to protect their communities and strengthen their Nation, and they deserve to go home safely to their loved ones at the end of each shift. As President, I am committed to making sure America's dedicated police officers receive the support and recognition they have earned, and to doing all I can to protect those who protect us.
One important way to make policing safer and more effective is by continuing to enhance relations and trust between law enforcement and the neighborhoods they serve. This will make it easier and safer for police officers to do their jobs, and it will strengthen the places we live and work. This important task will require our Nation -- our communities, our law enforcement, and our leaders at every level -- to come together to commit to meeting this challenge and moving our country forward, block by block and neighborhood by neighborhood. As President, I firmly believe it is within our power to make progress in our time, and I am dedicated to partnering with all those who are willing to do this necessary work.
My Administration is taking concrete steps to implement the commonsense, pragmatic recommendations my Task Force on 21st Century Policing put forward based on input from law enforcement personnel as well as criminal justice experts, community leaders, and civil liberties advocates. And we are engaging with local jurisdictions so they can begin to make the changes that will help ensure that police officers and their communities are partners in battling crime and that everyone feels safe on and off the job.
Our Nation's police officers are mentors in our schools, familiar faces on the corner, and pillars of our communities. They keep our borders secure and our roads safe, and in times of crisis, they rush toward tragedy. They are hardworking mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons who have dedicated their lives to public service, working every day to build a brighter future for their families and their Nation. Their selfless commitment and daily sacrifice represent what is possible for every city, town, and reservation in America, and our country has an enormous opportunity to lift up the very best law enforcement personnel as examples -- not just to other officers, but to all who aspire to lives of good citizenship. This week and every week, let us remember the patriots who laid down their lives for ours and honor all who strive to make our Nation more safe, more free, and more just.
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."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 15, 2015, as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 10 through May 16, 2015, as Police Week.
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