“America stands strong with our men and women in blue,” Trump told the assembled officers on Monday at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC. “As long as I’m president, you’ll always find an open door to the White House.”
“Patriotic Americans of all backgrounds truly support and love our police,” the president said. “Next time you see a cop on the beat, take a moment to say two wonderful words which they so readily deserve: ‘Thank you.’”
Monday’s service was dedicated to 394 officers who died in the line of duty in 2016, and whose names will be inscribed on the wall of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, in Washington’s Judiciary Square.
“Our police have been subject to unfair defamation and vilification,” Trump said, “And even worse, hostility and violence.”
More officers were killed in ambushes last year than any year in the past two decades, he said, citing the examples of Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, among others.
The president called such attacks on police “a stain on the very fabric of our society,” and said that they “must end right now.”
He argued that the priority of his administration is to keep Americans safe from crime, terrorism and “all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
“True social justice means a future where every child in every neighborhood can play outside without fear,” Trump said, vowing to crack down on gangs and take action to tackle the “unbearable horror” of crime in places such as Baltimore and Chicago.
Trump ran for president on a “law and order” platform, promising to “empower our law enforcement officers to do their jobs and keep our streets free of crime and violence.” In early February, he signed executive orders establishing a task force on crime, targeting drug cartels, and increasing protection for law enforcement officers at every level.
The White House will be lit up in blue on Monday night, to honor the nation’s law fallen enforcement officers.
President John F. Kennedy established May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day in 1962, and designated the week in which it falls as National Police Week. This year’s event runs from May 14 to May 20.
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