By Matt Dummermuth, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice,
Office of Justice Programs
Our nation's police officers are courageous men and women who begin each workday aware that it could be their last. In 2018, that possibility became reality for 158 officers who gave their lives in the line of duty—13 fewer than the year before. During National Police Week, May 13 ‒ 19, the Office of Justice Programs joins in paying tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Officers died while making arrests, conducting investigations and traffic stops, responding to domestic and public disturbances—and everything in between. Officers like Police Sergeant Terrence Carraway and Deputy Farrah Turner of Florence, South Carolina, shot and killed while serving a search warrant. Garret Hull of Fort Worth, Texas, fatally shot while pursuing three robbery suspects. And Deputy Sheriffs Patrick Rohrer and Theresa King of Wyandotte, Kansas, gunned down while transferring an inmate to court. Fifty died because of traffic-related incidents, such as assisting at an accident or other roadside incident.
Without courageous law enforcement officers dedicated to serving their communities and ensuring public safety, criminals wouldn't be caught and convicted, and the rule of law would be nonexistent.So it is with a grateful and heavy heart that I pay my respects to the fallen.
Each of these deaths brings a loss on many levels. Most important is its impact on the officer's survivors. They have lost a husband or wife, a father or mother, a daughter, son, sister, brother. We stand with them in their grief and dedicate ourselves to honoring their loved one's memory.
There is the loss that those in law enforcement share. The loss of one acutely affects them all and puts into stark relief the dangers they face. We are thankful for the service of officers, agents and deputies across our nation, and inspired by their selflessness.
The loss of these 158 heroes touches our entire nation as well. It speaks to the severe consequences of crime and the need to work toward safer communities. On behalf of all of us at the Office of Justice Programs, I say thank you.