Authorizing Use of Capitol Grounds for National Peace Officers Memorial Serviceby Representative Donna F. Edwards
Posted on 2015-04-21
EDWARDS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, H. Con. Res. 25 authorizes the use of the Capitol Grounds for the annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service on May 15 and a National Honor Guard and Pipe Band Exhibition. Both events will be coordinated with the Architect of the Capitol and the Capitol Police.
The National Peace Officers Memorial will honor law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty in 2014. According to preliminary estimates, over 125 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty just this last year, a 24 percent increase over the 102 officers killed in 2013.
Firearms-related incidents were the leading cause of death among law enforcement officers in 2014, with 50 officers slain by firearms. The second leading cause of death among law enforcement officers was traffic-related fatalities, with 49 officers killed in that manner.
In the State of Maryland, there was one law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty in 2014, Officer Jamel Claggett from the Charles County Sheriff's Office.
Mr. Speaker, I know that we are honoring and recognizing peace officers who were killed in the line of duty in 2014, but I would like to make a personal note that in the State of Maryland alone, just since the beginning of this year, three officers were killed and one police dog was also killed in the line of duty: Just a couple of weeks ago, Federal Protective Service Officer Lawrence Buckner was killed outside of the Census Bureau on April 9; just a few weeks before that, Prince George's County Police Officer Brennan Rabain was killed in an automobile accident on March 7; just prior to that, in January, a police officer from Baltimore, Craig Chandler, was also killed in a vehicle accident; a canine, Bella, from the Maryland Division of Correction in Maryland was killed in a fire incident also just a few weeks ago.
It is a stark reminder of the jeopardy that officers place themselves in and a reminder of what they do every single day to protect each and every one of us. I have such a deep admiration and appreciation for the fallen officers who will be honored on May 15 and the ultimate sacrifices they have made on behalf of all of our local communities. I urge Members to join me in supporting this tribute to our law enforcement officers across the country who died in the line of duty in 2014.