Friday, January 13, 2017
Billy Long: Hanging pictures of pigs in police uniforms is shameful
In 2016 there were 135 law enforcement fatalities. According to the 2016 Law Enforcement Fatalities Report, that was a 10 percent increase from the previous year and the highest number of fatalities since 2011. Of the 135 officers that died, 64 of them were killed by gunfire with 21 of them being the result of an ambush-style attack.
Such statistics is a sobering reminder of the risk that law enforcement officials make to protect the safety of us all.
Earlier this year, news broke of a picture hanging in the U.S. Capitol depicting police officers as pigs. Police officers in my district brought it to my attention and I later brought attention to the issue during a GOP Conference meeting. My colleagues and I were outraged.
Each day our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line for their communities, sometimes walking into situations knowing little of what to expect. Hanging paintings of pigs in police uniforms in the U.S. Capitol, of all places, is shameful. Our law enforcement officers deserve our utmost respect.
January 9, 2017, marked National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. I thought it was appropriate to take this time to once again thank our law enforcement for the hard work that they do. I want the men and women in uniform to know that I support them and will do all that I can to make sure that they are treated with the respect that they deserve.
The national dialogue regarding law enforcement over the past few years has been disheartening. Officers have been talked about as if they are the problem rather than the solution. I refuse to accept this as the new normal.
Each morning law enforcement officers wake up, put on their uniform and say goodbye to their loved ones. They go to work each day not knowing what exactly the next call will be, who they will encounter or what they will face.
135 law enforcement fatalities are 135 too many. They each had families and dreams and they were willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of all of us. I encourage everyone to let an officer know you care about them and that you appreciate what they do in often challenging circumstances. I will continue to voice my support for both local and state efforts that support our law enforcement as well as support legislation at the federal level that supports our law enforcement. It’s the right thing to do and I’m thankful for the opportunity to do so every day.