Jeff Sessions issued the following statement in observance of National Police Week and in memory of the eight Alabama law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty over the last year:
“I know the critical role that our police play in maintaining a healthy society. Police Week allows all of us to celebrate and appreciate all of our law enforcement officers who stand between us and danger every day. Eight brave Alabama law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty in the past twelve months. They made the ultimate sacrifice to protect all of us. Police work is demanding and tough, but a true service to all, and especially to the poor and minority communities who are too often victimized.
“I was honored to serve shoulder-to-shoulder with them as a prosecutor for many years, and as Attorney General. I know the challenges they face. As Attorney General, I traveled to some 40 states and always met with our police, sheriffs, state police, and federal officers. As I said to them every time, ‘we have your backs and you have our thanks.’ I meant every word of it.
“One of my highest goals as Attorney General was to make sure those on the front lines for public safety knew that the Department of Justice was on their side, and that we were partners in a noble cause. This was clearly a new tone after eight years of the Department of Justice being run by Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, and it was well received.
“In the final two years of the Obama administration, homicides broke a 30-year, generally downward trend and jumped by a shocking 20 percent. With a new team of strong United States Attorneys and a strong focus on violent crime using proven and constitutional policies, together with our local partners we reversed that spike and reduced violent crime, as President Trump challenged us to do. The key to this success was recognizing that 85 percent of law enforcement is state and local. Good federal policy must be centered on partnership and supporting their good work.
“As we celebrate Police Week and honor our fallen law enforcement officers, we would do well to remember that our state, local, tribal, and federal law enforcement officers across the country put their own lives at risk every day to protect others. They deserve our gratitude, and we should never forget their dedication and service.”