As we have every year since 1962, our nation paused in May to recognize National Police Week and celebrate the service and incredible courage of tens of thousands of law enforcement officers in communities across the country.
While it was a week filled with messages of gratitude, it was also emotional as we took time to honor the lives of men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving the citizens they were sworn to protect. At all three FBI Florida offices, we reflected our 92 FBI brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation — powerful reminders that protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution is a difficult and dangerous work.
US attorneys: Remembering fallen law enforcement officers who made ultimate sacrifice
end of watch: Community, law enforcement celebrate life of St. Johns sheriff’s officer
Letters: JEA is doing its part for Northeast Florida’s future with a diverse energy strategy
As a law enforcement community, we work together to fight violent crime, keep illegal drugs off our streets, keep children safe from predators, thwart terrorists and more. It’s not an easy profession. It takes an incredibly special person to choose to leave their home every day and knowingly put their life on the line to help complete strangers in perhaps their greatest time of need.
Thankfully, it is a choice many still make, but unfortunately, we are faced with the sad reality that far too many officers do not return home to their families.
Across the country, 60 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2022. And while that number is down from its peak in 2021, it’s still totally rejected. National Police Week is a reminder that men and women in law enforcement are out there keeping America safe every day and we should never forget the sacrifices of those killed in the line of duty and their families. We hope Police Week inspires citizens to recognize and support these heroes far beyond one week in May and instead celebrate their service all throughout the year.
The FBI Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa teams are grateful for all that our local, state, federal and tribal law enforcement partners do every day to protect our state and our country. During National Police Week — and every week — we stand with you and recognize your dedication to keeping Florida communities safe.
Thank you for your service. And as always, stay safe.
Sherri E. Onks, FBI Jacksonville; Jeffrey B. Veltri, FBI Miami; and David Walker, FBI Tampa
This guest column is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Times-Union. We welcome a diversity of opinions.
This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Law enforcement officers take risks every day to protect community