Director Comey Honors Law Enforcement Officers in National Police Week Message

In anticipation of National Police Week—which officially begins Sunday, May 15, 2016—Director James Comey released a video message to personally express his gratitude for the brave men and women who have given their lives in the line of duty.


Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jim Comey, Director of the FBI. On behalf of the whole FBI, I want to take a few minutes to recognize and thank our law enforcement colleagues as we honor you during National Police Week.

I'm speaking to you today from the FBI’s Hall of Honor—a special place within Headquarters where we honor those who have either been injured or killed in the line of duty. Each name on the wall represents a story of sacrifice. They are the stories of brave men and women who went to work thinking that it would be just another day, but something happened that would change—or even end—their life.

This week, we honor especially our brothers and sisters in law enforcement who have given their lives while serving the public. That list is way too long. Over the past year, we lost people who walked the beat for decades, and we lost another earlier this year who gave her life on her first shift—just one day after taking the oath.

I've said it before: One of the saddest things I do as Director is to call police chiefs and sheriffs when their departments have lost one of their own. Each call is heartbreaking, and I have to make far too many of them.

These tragedies remind us that our safety and our freedoms, which we hold so dear, are purchased at great cost. The memories of these heroes should inspire us to do everything we can to ensure that our fellow officers, deputies, troopers, and agents return home safely at the end of their shifts.

As we remember our fallen colleagues during this week, we also celebrate the service of every person in our country who wears the badge.

Each of you has accepted the demands and dangers that are inherent in this work. Because you see it as what it is—a calling.

In this profession, we are lucky. We get to do good for a living. You don't make much money, but you have found a great way to make a life. You make that life for yourselves, but, most importantly, you make it for the people you serve and protect.

We at the FBI are grateful to you for making that choice—and for continuing to make that choice every single day.

I know the pressures on you today are great. The job is stressful. There are pressures on the job, in the community, and at home. For some of you, you may work in communities where you aren't viewed with the respect and gratitude that we'd expect, but instead with suspicion and mistrust. We have to change that.

All of us in law enforcement have to continue to reach out to the communities we serve so that folks can understand better the difficult and often frightening work that we do to keep them safe.

At the same time, we have to continue to listen to their concerns and work with them to build and improve the relationships that are at the center of our success.

We in the FBI are proud to stand with you in this work of building trust and keeping our communities safe.

Thanks again for your service and for your devotion to this great calling of law enforcement.

Stay safe.

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