Director Wray's 2022 National Police Week Address
Director Christopher Wray gives an address for National Police Week 2022.
Hi, everyone. On behalf of all the men and women of the FBI, I want to take a moment to honor our brothers and sisters in law enforcement as we mark National Police Week. This week we'll gather to honor and remember those who gave their lives while protecting the communities they served. You know, I've said many times, it takes a special person to wake up in the morning and be willing to put his or her life on the line to protect complete strangers. And to do that every day, day after day, for an entire career is simply extraordinary.
Like all police officers, each of the hundreds we lost last year got up one day, picked up their badge, not knowing whether they'd make it home that night. They did their jobs despite knowing the risks. And in spite of the hardships, because they were devoted to protecting their fellow Americans. As we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice, we also think about the families and friends who lost someone they loved dearly. The agencies now missing a valued member of their team and the communities deprived of a dedicated public servant.
Especially troubling this past year was that 73 of the officers we lost were feloniously killed on the job. That's the highest single year number since 9/11 and is equivalent to an officer murdered every five days. And that, of course, doesn't even count the hundreds we lost to COVID or in accidental deaths., those killed while they weren't on duty, or the scores of officers who were injured—sometimes quite badly—but thankfully survived. Each and every story is heartbreaking. A 30-year Florida deputy murdered one shift shy of retirement. An officer ambushed on his first day on the job, leaving behind a wife and an infant son. A combat veteran and his police dog killed while serving together. A young officer taken away whose police chief described as "married to his profession," who cared about nothing else other than serving his community.
The losses remind us that our safety is purchased at great cost. We owe it to these heroes to redouble our efforts to take the most violent offenders off the streets and to make sure officers have the resources, equipment, and training they need to return home safely at the end of their shifts. As we remember our fallen colleagues during Police Week, we also celebrate the courage of every man and woman who wears the badge. Each of you has accepted the demands and the dangers that are inherent to this work because you see what you do as so much more than a job. It's a calling. You took an oath and chose a life of public service because you wanted to protect the innocent, defend the vulnerable, and make communities safer regardless of what dangerous situation or traumatic event you might encounter.
We're grateful for you, the members of our FBI family and our partners throughout law enforcement, for making that choice and for continuing to make it each and every day. This week and every week, we honor the work of all our brothers and sisters in law enforcement. The dedication and bravery that you show by putting your own lives on the line for others, friends and strangers alike. Every day. I honestly believe there's no higher calling, no better work than that. So I want to thank you for choosing and devoting yourselves to that work. It's an honor to serve alongside you.
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