It is fitting and proper that we express our gratitude for the dedicated service and courageous deeds of law enforcement officers and for the contributions they have made to the security and well-being of all our people. This was said by President John F. Kennedy on October 1, 1962 when he signed into law, National Peace Officer Memorial Day.
Since the first recorded death of a police officer, Constable Darius Quimby in 1791, 20,858 law enforcement officers have sacrificed their lives serving the Communities and this Country, they swore an oath to protect. This week we honor their lives and honor the survivors they leave behind.
Over the last 12 years, I have been honored to be a member of the police department that hosts National Police Week, and the thousands of police officers from around the world that converge here every year. I take this time to rekindle old friendships and make new ones.
As law enforcers, we are the thin blue line separating the criminal element of our society, those who have no regard for public safety or the law, from the rest of the law abiding communities and citizens we serve. We do this as our chosen profession even though our existence is not popular. We do this as our chosen profession is demonized in the media. We do this as our chosen profession is trampled in the court of public opinion. We do this as our chosen profession is weakened through political influence. But the simple fact is, WE STILL DO IT, not for fame or glory, not for fortune or wealth, not for any other reason but this is our chosen profession. We are the sheepdogs, strong and courageous, protecting those who can’t protect themselves from the wolves. WE ARE THE THIN BLUE LINE.
Police Week is filled with many events, it’s a time when we can feel safe amongst our peers and have fun with the Brothers and Sisters we don’t get a chance to see very often. It’s a time to remember our friends who have been called home, and be a shoulder to cry on for those still grieving.
This year is especially moving to me, since becoming your Chairman on April 1, I have had the sobering duty of writing condolence letters to 6 different agencies and union heads who have lost one of their members. This is no simple task, while authoring these letters I find myself wondering if someday I will be on the receiving end of one of these. I pray not, I have always taken my responsibilities as a supervisor seriously and have referred to those under my command as my kids. On April 1 I went from having 50 kids to 3500, and any injury or loss to any one of you I take personally.
Every year, I take the time to remember my friends, Trooper Robert Perez Jr., Sergeant Gerard Burke Jr., Officer Wayne Pitt, Officer James McBride, and all the other MPD Members who have died in the line of duty, sacrificing their lives in the service of their communities. I visit each and every one of them at the National Police Officer Memorial, say a prayer for their soul and their survivors, and I ask that each and every one of you take the time to remember your lost friends and reflect on the sacrifices we make every day.
I hope that you each and every one of you have a memorable and safe Police Week, take the time to thank a survivor for their lost loved ones service and wear your badge of honor with pride. Remember you are an ambassador of trust to the thousands of police officers visiting our city this week, represent us proudly, and most importantly, Stay Safe!
Sgt. M.N. Mahl
Fraternal Order of Police
Metropolitan Police Labor Committee
Posted May 11 2016 at 10:25 AM by Matthew N. Mahl | Permanent Link