Statement From Memorial Fund CEO Craig W. Floyd on Colorado Officer Shooting
Washington, DC—Officer Garrett Swasey, 44, of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Police Department is the latest law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty. He was married with two young children. Officer Swasey was killed on Friday while trying to contain a gunman, who, on a five-hour rampage, killed two civilians, and injured at least four other officers and five civilians at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs. He is the 116th law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty this year.
In this weekend of Thanksgiving, we mourn the death of Officer Swasey and extend our deepest sympathy and empathy to his family and friends. We pray for the recovery of his colleagues and others who were injured. Officer Swasey’s death reminds us that law enforcement officers are in constant danger. They stand boldly against crime, evil, and those intent on bringing harm to others. And on average, every 60 hours, an officer gives up his or her life doing what they love, working to protect their fellow citizens. Officer Swasey epitomized this hallmark of the law enforcement profession. “He wanted to try to help people, which he did a lot of,” said the slain officer’s father, David Swasey. “He really enjoyed his work.”
There is a disturbing rise in violent incidents in which the public and police officers are in harm’s way. But as frightening as that rise is, we must continually remind ourselves that some 900,000 law enforcement professionals in more than 18,000 agencies across the country keep the vast majority of the time peaceful and safe for 320 million Americans. That is indeed something for which all of us should be thankful.
Law enforcement officers never know when that life-threatening moment may come, but they know it could come on the very next call. Yet, those risks never deter them from doing their job. As citizens, we must always honor and remember the fallen, support the families left behind, and do all that we can to make it safer for those who continue to serve and protect.
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About the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a private non-profit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement and making it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which contains the names of 20,538 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The Memorial Fund is now working to create the National Law Enforcement Museum, which will tell the story of American law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical artifacts and extensive educational programming. For more information, visit www.LawMemorial.org.