Chief Joseph E. White, Jr. Post Office Buildingby Representative Peter Welch
Posted on 2014-11-17
WELCH. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the
gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Butterfield).
Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Mr. Speaker, I thank Congressman Welch for yielding time. Let me also thank Chairman Issa and Ranking Member Cummings for bringing my bill to the floor today.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 5142, a bill that I introduced that will designate the post office in Rich Square, North Carolina, as the Chief Joseph E. White, Jr. Post Office Building. Every Member of the North Carolina House delegation has cosponsored my bill, and I ask my colleagues to join me in passing it today.
Joseph Edward White, Jr., was born on January 12, 1939, in Hertford County, North Carolina, in the town of Ahoskie to Joseph White, Sr., and the former Emma Jane Collins. In 1957, at the age of 18, Mr. White enlisted in the United States Navy and bravely served our country for the next 20 years. After he retired from the Navy, Mr. White and his wife, the former Joyce Risper, moved to Northampton County and settled in the town of Woodland, North Carolina, which would ultimately become home for them and for their three children: Cynthia, Cheryl, and Terrance.
Mr. White found his calling in law enforcement and began his career with the Woodland Police Department in 1980, where he served as an officer and ultimately as chief of police. He later [[Page H8011]] moved to the Northampton County Sheriff's Office and served as a deputy sheriff and also worked as a corrections officer at Odom Correctional Institution, located just outside Jackson, North Carolina.
In 1999, Mr. Speaker, Mr. White became the chief of police for a small town but a town rich in legacy, the town of Rich Square. Sadly, Chief White's stellar career in law enforcement that saw him ascend to the position of chief of police of two North Carolina police departments was tragically cut short.
After just a year of serving as police chief for the town of Rich Square, Chief White was savagely killed in the line of duty. On the afternoon of Sunday, July 16, 2000, Chief White was on duty and was alerted that a vehicle had filled up at a gas station but left the station without paying. Chief White spotted the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. It was during the stop that Chief White's .45-caliber service weapon was wrested away from him by the man that he had stopped. The man used Chief White's own weapon against him tragically, ending his life just 5 months before his retirement.
It took nearly 3 years, but the man that committed this atrocious crime was identified and he was arrested in Lafayette, Louisiana, on May 1, 2003. He was sentenced to life in prison on September 12, 2005.
Chief White, a brave veteran and dedicated public servant, a beloved husband, colleague, and friend, lost his life in the most tragic of ways, but his memory will live on forever. Naming the post office in Rich Square in Chief White's honor is but a small symbol by a grateful Nation for his life that was dedicated to serving others.
Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in honoring Chief Joseph E. White, Jr., by voting ``aye'' on H.R. 5142.
Mr. WELCH. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.