Director Wray's 2021 Police Week Message

FBI Director Christopher Wray delivers a message to the Bureau's law enforcement partners: “All of us in the FBI are honored to stand with you, our law enforcement partners, as we pay tribute to our fallen heroes during Police Week.”

Video Transcript

Hi, everyone.

Each year around this time, we come together for National Police Week, where we pause to recognize and honor the extraordinary men and women of law enforcement.

Unfortunately, because of COVID, most of the traditional Police Week events this year have been rescheduled for October.

I’m talking about events like the annual Blue Mass, the Peace Officers Memorial, and the FBI’s annual memorial service, when we’ll add seven new names of our own heroes to our Wall of Honor.

Like you, I’m disappointed that we can’t be together in person this week. But I’m optimistic that by this fall, we’ll be able to have the in-person Police Week events we all look forward to.

In the meantime, I wanted to reach out this week to our FBI family, and to our partners throughout law enforcement, to thank all of you for your work to protect our country and keep our communities safe.

That work has always required sacrifices from you and your loved ones.

And there’s no doubt it’s been a tough 14 months for our entire law enforcement family.

We’ve seen incidents that were painful reminders that we still have work to do to build—and rebuild—trust in law enforcement among the full range of communities we serve.

But we’ve also been reminded far too often of the dangers of our work.

In fact, 2020 was one of the deadliest years for law enforcement in our nation’s history—and sadly, 2021 is looking grim, too.

We’ve lost beloved colleagues to line-of-duty-deaths from gunfire and car crashes, and our people have also faced a significant new risk from COVID—with more officers dying from COVID exposure out on the front lines than from all other causes combined.

As I’ve mentioned to you before, each time an officer is shot and killed in the line of duty in our country, it’s been my practice to call the chief or sheriff of that department and offer both mine and the FBI’s support and condolences.

And I do that because we in the FBI know it’s always a tough moment for any law enforcement agency to lose one of its own.

That painful truth hit home for us back in February, when two of our special agents, Dan Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger, were killed while executing a search warrant in Florida.

On behalf of the entire FBI, thank you to all of you who offered the Bureau your support and condolences after that tragic morning.

Every time one of our agencies loses someone in the line of duty, it’s heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking for the families who’ve lost a loved one, for the departments and agencies that lost a friend and colleague,  and for the communities who’ve lost an ally and protector.

And each of these losses reminds us that the safety and freedom we all enjoy comes at great cost.

So as we pause this week, and during Police Week in October, to remember our colleagues who’ve paid that terrible price for us, we also honor everyone who serves in law enforcement—especially those who wear a badge and put their lives on the line every day for complete strangers.

All of us in the FBI are honored to stand with you, our law enforcement partners, as we pay tribute to our fallen heroes during Police Week.

And we’re proud to continue working side-by-side with you to protect our families and our communities.

Thank you for your commitment, and for your service.

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