Policemen and Women, Thank you
By Rep. Virginia Foxx
In observance of this National Police Week, I especially want to thank all of the law enforcement officers of the Fifth District for their countless sacrifices in the line of duty and tireless commitment to keeping our communities safe. This week, the nation recognizes the brave men and women who dedicate their lives to law enforcement and commemorates our fallen police officers. While it is fitting that we dedicate an entire week in honor of policemen and women, they truly deserve recognition every day for the risks they take. Supporting the work of law enforcement officers and bolstering public safety are important priorities for me in Congress, and I want to take this occasion to highlight recent legislation that supports our nation’s local law enforcement.
Opioid addiction takes a tragic toll on families and communities, and also impacts the daily work of law enforcement officers who play a crucial role in combatting the opioid scourge in our country. Last Congress, I was a proud cosponsor of H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act which President Trump signed on October 24, 2018. The SUPPORT Act is the most comprehensive law to fight opioid abuse to date, aimed to help overall efforts to advance treatment and recovery initiatives, improve prevention, protect our communities and bolster our efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl. This law supports the role of local law enforcement fighting the opioid scourge by making it easier to prosecute the sale and distribution of synthetic drugs. It also expands police grant programs for naloxone education and safely handling fentanyl in the field.
Additionally, in Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations for the Justice Department included $20 million for the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program to help to deter violent crime in our communities. This program brings together law enforcement officers from federal, state, local and tribal jurisdictions to identify the most significant violent crime issues confronting specific areas and develop solutions to address them. The COPS hiring grant program also received a $28 million increase in FY19 to aid with the hiring of new law enforcement officers around the country. The Department of Justice offers these and a number of other grant programs which I am always happy to help local police and sheriff departments apply for.
In Congress, I will continue to support the important work and the needs of our country’s men and women in uniform. We are blessed to live in a country founded on the rule of law, and it could not be preserved without the courage of our nation’s 800,000 sworn law enforcement officers. This week, we show our appreciation for them and remember our fallen heroes, especially Trooper Samuel Newton Bullard who died in the line of duty protecting Surry County last May. His name is added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial this year. These brave men and women’s sacrifices will not be forgotten, and their families are in my prayers. This Police Week, and every week, let’s show our support and gratitude for those who risk so much to keep us safe.