Report from Washington: Honoring Our Local Law Enforcement

May 18, 2017

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—Across East Alabama, brave men and women serve every day as law enforcement officers. They sacrifice daily to help protect our communities and help keep us safe.

This year, May 14th – 20th is recognized as National Police Week.

In Washington, I was pleased to see President Trump light the White House in blue to recognize this important week.

Here in the House of Representatives, Members will vote on several bills to honor the lives of the fallen and recognize those currently serving.

The Honoring Hometown Heroes Act would permit the American flag to be flown at half-staff for any local law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty. The Thin Blue Line Act would add the murder of a police officer as an aggravating factor for a jury to decide on the death penalty.

Congress also is striving to ensure that law enforcement has all of the tools they need to continue to serve and protect.

For example, The Rapid DNA Act of 2017 would help expedite DNA analysis results to help law enforcement identify a suspect much quicker, The Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act of 2017 would help train local officers in cyber and electronic crimes, The American Law Enforcement Heroes Act of 2017 would help prioritize hiring of our Veterans and The Probation Officer Protection Act of 2017 would allow probation officers to arrest an individual if there is probable cause.

These pieces of legislation should go a long way to helping law enforcement do their jobs to keep us safe.

As of writing, since I have served in Congress, the State of Alabama has lost 60 law enforcement officers – both in the line of duty and off the clock - according to the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP).

According to the ODMP page which lists all fallen law enforcement by state, in East Alabama since 2003, we lost: Officer Keith Edwin Houts, Lieutenant Dexter Holcomb, Detective Corporal Kenneth Armstrong, Police Officer Kenneth “Greg” Surles, Correctional Officer Elizabeth Franklin, Conservation Officer Nathan Benjamin Mims, Correctional Officer Rodney Kelley, Trooper Ervin Michael Hawk Johnston, II, Police Officer Joshuah Patrick Broadway, Inspector David Howell Jennings, Conservation Officer James Lansford “Lance” Horner, Jr., Deputy Sheriff James W. Anderson, Police Officer Justin David Sollohub, Sergeant Daniel Verle Davis, Investigator Jeffrey Hugh Bryant, Police Officer David Lee Colley, Correctional Officer Kenneth Levella Bettis and Lieutenant Richard Glenn Woods.

Our hearts go out to the families across Alabama who have lost their loved ones. We will never forget those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and have served their communities.

I salute our local law enforcement today and every day. Thank you for all you do.

I want to hear from you on this or any issue.

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