During this 2020 National Police Week, we wish to thank each of you for your service and sacrifice on behalf of the tribal communities across the United States. During these unprecedented times you have stayed strong, placing yourselves on the front lines, facing the dangers of the corona virus while protecting our children and our communities. Each of you have left family members at home as you head out, facing the unknown, but willing to sacrifice everything in the line of duty.
As a community of many tribal nations, we know all too well the cost of sacrifice and the dangers of this profession. Let us not forget our fallen brothers and sisters. Take the time to visit the Fallen Officer Memorial Page https://www.odmp.org/search/browse/tribal-police and learn about some of the heroes lost in 2019. The names include Sergeant Steven Gaspare Greco of the Miccosukee Tribal Police Department, Conservation Officer Shannon Lee “Opie” Barron or the Red Lake Conservation Department, Officer Clayton Joel Townsend of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Lieutenant Joseph P. Johnson of the Seminole, FL Police Department and Officer David Kellywood of the White River Police Department who died February 17, 2020, while responding to a call of shots fired. David, like those listed here laid down his life, going towards danger to protect others.
Law Enforcement is both a profession and a calling. It is not for everyone, and at times it can be dangerous, frustrating, and unforgiving. We are held to a higher standard and are often unable to say what we think or feel. We see and do things so that others will not have too. Many of us will carry scars, both physical and emotional for the rest of our lives. However, we do so with pride. We realize that our duty is to protect and serve the community, to keep the peace, protect the rights of others; to serve as mediator, counselor, warrior, peacemaker, and servant. It is a noble calling.
This year, 307 names are being engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, bringing the total to 22,217 officers killed in the line of duty memorialized there. If you have not had the opportunity to watch this year’s Law Enforcement Memorial program, I encourage you to do so.
Please remember that each of you are incredibly important, you are the protectors and are in our thoughts and prayers. Continue to serve with pride and professionalism.
With Great Respect,
Jim Walters | Program Administrator
AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program | National Criminal Justice Training Center
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AMBER Alert in Indian Country Website: https://www.amber-ic.org
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