Our nation’s law enforcement officers investigate crime, enforce our laws, and perhaps most importantly, protect our communities. Day after day, law enforcement officers put on their uniforms, leave their families, and go to work prepared to defend those around them from harm. During Police Week, we federally recognize our police officers and honor the sacrifices they make to protect our communities.
Beyond keeping us safe and serving as the watchful eye in our neighborhoods, law enforcement is a part of our community. In Oklahoma, we know many of our law enforcement officers because we grew up with them or because our kids go to school with their kids. They’re a part of our community because it’s their community too. They protect our kids like they protect their own kids.
We teach our kids at a young age that in the event of an emergency, they should call 911 immediately. We instill the trust that if they dial 911, help is only a few minutes away. Law enforcement officers always answer the call without hesitation and put our safety before their own. Whether we see them out on patrol in our neighborhood or whether we can’t see them at all, our nation’s law enforcement is always present.
Tragically, we’re a little less than halfway through 2017 and Oklahoma has already lost three of our own. Deputy Sheriff David Wade, Police Officer Justin Terney, and Police Officer Nathan B. Graves paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. We are eternally grateful for their dedication to serve and their unwavering loyalty to those who they protected.
Police Week encourages us to pause and remember those who put their lives on the line for us 365 days a year. In earnest, we should thank them daily – not just this week. I encourage you this week and in the coming weeks ahead to take time to thank the law enforcement members in your communities. I, for one, will always be grateful for the dedication and sacrifices that our men and women of law enforcement make regularly in order to defend our families and our communities.