WASHINGTON, D.C.—In recognition of National Police Week, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) authored a column for the Houma Courier to honor the nation’s law enforcement officers. Whip Scalise paid special tribute to U.S. Capitol Police Officers David Bailey and Crystal Griner, who risked their lives to save Whip Scalise and his colleagues from a gunman at a Congressional baseball practice in 2017. In spite of the risks to their own safety, our police officers work selflessly each day to keep our communities safe.
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We may not always notice, but every day our law enforcement officers are diligently working to ensure safety in our communities. To honor this dedication and selfless service, for the past 57 years we have celebrated National Police Week, a week of commemorative events culminating in the National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the U.S. Capitol. Day in and day out, our police officers are performing life-saving work. This celebratory week is the least we can do to honor the service and sacrifice of our law enforcement officers.
This week is especially meaningful to me, as I recognize the Capitol and Alexandria Police officers who saved all of the members of Congress at that baseball practice on June 14, 2017. None of us could have anticipated what that day would bring. We were simply practicing on a baseball field, yet when those shots began to ring out, Capitol and Alexandria Police jumped to action, putting their lives on the line. Despite facing superior firepower, these officers bravely moved towards the danger.
Particularly heroic were the actions of two members of my Capitol security team, Officers David Bailey and Crystal Griner. These officers were hit by the shooter but courageously continued to risk their lives to confront and stop the shooter. Thanks to their bravery, they prevented what could have been a mass execution. Many of us on that ball field would not be here today without them. I know I would not be here today.
My security detail are my heroes; they are my friends; and to my wife, Jennifer, and I, they are part of the family. Every day I am grateful for their protection. The life-saving action officers Bailey and Griner took that day is only one example of our police bravely stepping up to protect others. Each week, hundreds of officers across this country are making similar bold and selfless decisions even at risk to themselves.
Those risks are real. In the past two years alone, we have lost six officers in Louisiana while on duty, mostly due to the extreme hazards they face while on the job. They are the thin blue line guarding our safety undeterred by the danger. We should never forget the deadly nature of this frequently thankless job. It can be easy to take our community law enforcement for granted, but the peace we experience in our daily lives is thanks to the noble work of our police officers.
Often you don’t see the heroism, the bravery and the professionalism because they quietly do their job. But they do their job every day knowing that one day they might have to respond to some kind of tragedy, like at that baseball practice in Virginia. While National Police Week may have come to an end, we should all continue to recognize and thank the brave men and women of law enforcement for the work they do every day to keep Americans safe.