FBI, This Week: Director Wray Addresses Lawmakers About Line-of-Duty Deaths
July 25, 2019
FBI Director Christopher Wray prefaced his recent testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee with sobering stories of violence against law enforcement officers.
Mollie Halpern: FBI Director Christopher Wray prefaced his recent testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee with sobering stories of violence against law enforcement officers.
At the time of his testimony, 53 law enforcement officers had been reported feloniously or accidentally killed in America so far this year, according to FBI statistics.
Each line of duty death is personal to the FBI and to Director Wray—who phones the impacted law enforcement agency to offer support and sympathy.
Director Wray …
Director Christopher Wray: I cannot stress enough that this is a problem that affects cities and towns, big and small, all over the country. It can happen anywhere, it can happen any time, and the level of violence against law enforcement in this country doesn't get a whole lot of national coverage, and I worry often that Americans don't realize the extent of the problem.
Halpern: State and local officers are critical to the FBI’s mission, as they serve on the Bureau’s task forces.
They are partners in the fight against crime and help to keep America safe.
Wray: It takes an incredibly special person to be willing to put his or her life on the line for a complete stranger. And to get up every morning, day after day after day, to do that, I think is extraordinary. So, I think we owe it to them and to their fallen comrades to do whatever we can to make it their work safer. We need to promote understanding and respect for their roles, and all of us as Americans owe them a profound debt of gratitude.
Halpern: Wray emphasized that the sacrifices of law enforcement extend beyond interactions with dangerous criminals.
Wray: Think of the line of duty deaths and illnesses that we're seeing now from our 9/11 first responders.
Halpern: The FBI has lost 15 special agents and one professional staff employee to 9/11-related illnesses, and many others are sick. The FBI encourages all 9/11 first responders to register with the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund—the latter was recently reauthorized to provide financial support to the 9/11 community. With FBI, This Week, I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau.