WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden commended law enforcement officials who defended the US Capitol in the attack on Saturday, Jan. 6, at the National Peace Officers’ Annual Memorial Service.
Biden said officers at the U.S. Capitol Police and the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Division during the Jan. 6 events “prevented unconstitutional and essentially non-American attacks on the country’s value and our votes.”
A memorial to 491 law enforcement officers who died in employment in 2019 and 2020 was held in front of the US Capitol. Flags were flown to half staff in honor of fallen officers.
Biden said, “Democracy remains because of you,” but only women and men of the United States Capitol Police Force, Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department and other law enforcement agencies have literally put their bodies on the line again to defend democracy
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Biden said of the huge prospects of police officers, “it is more difficult than ever to be a policeman today.”
“It always amazes me how the public doesn’t fully understand what we expect from our law enforcement officers,” he said. “We expect you to be on the road and ready to take a bullet for us. We expect you to be able to spot the bad. We expect you to be everything. We expect everything from you and it is beyond anyone’s ability to meet expectations.”
Biden pledged to continue working on police reform despite the unsuccessful bid for a failed bipartisan police reform deal in Congress in September. He said he would explore possible operational measures to hold officials accountable.
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Despite the failure, Biden honored the National Fraternal Order of Police, a coalition of major elections that endorsed former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, “genuinely trying to come to an agreement” on police reform.
Biden promised to provide support and resources to officers and police departments, who have already asked Congress for hundreds of millions of dollars for additional resources, such as training, recruitment and mental health professionals.
“The toll on this profession has increased over the last two years,” Biden said. “Unless we change the working environment, there will be a lot of women and men coming forward that will bother us. We have to work.” .