Statement from COPS Office Director Phil Keith in Recognition of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Phil Keith, Director of the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), released the following statement in recognition of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (January 9, 2021):
“The incredible bravery, heroism, and sacrifice displayed every day by our nation’s law enforcement officers must never be taken for granted, and our gratitude for all they do to keep our citizens safe is immeasurable. Last year presented some extraordinary challenges for law enforcement – most notably in continuing to perform their duties throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), 264 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in 2020, an increase of 96% from the prior year, and with COVID-19 related fatalities as the single highest cause. The National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) reported that 314 officers were shot in 2020, killing 47 officers with 43 ambush attacks.
In recognition of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, the COPS Office renews its commitment to do everything possible to protect those who selflessly and nobly protect us through their tireless efforts, often times at great personal sacrifice and risk to themselves, and now, even to their families.
No matter what threat our officers and deputies face, they never give in, they never back down, and nothing can break their spirit nor bend their will. In moments of danger and despair, they are the reason we never lose hope – because there are men and women in uniform who face down evil and stand for all that’s good, decent, and just.
This country asks so much of our federal, state, tribal, and local police officers and deputies, and it is our responsibility to ensure that they have the training, resources, and support they need to do their jobs. They never let us down, and so the COPS Office will never, ever let them down.”
The COPS Office is the federal component of the Department of Justice responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. The only Department of Justice agency with policing in its name, the COPS Office was established in 1994 and has been the cornerstone of the nation’s crime fighting strategy with grants, a variety of knowledge resource products, and training and technical assistance. Through the years, the COPS Office has become the go-to agency for law enforcement agencies across the country and continues to listen to the field and provide the resources that are needed to reduce crime and build trust between law enforcement and the communities served. The COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 134,000 officers.