2023 Police Week Message from BJA Director Karhlton F. Moore
Hear from BJA Director Karhlton F. Moore as he speaks about National Police Week (May 14-20, 2023) and remembers those officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
Transcript also available in PDF.
KARHLTON MOORE: I'm Karhlton Moore, Director of the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance.
National Police Week is a time to support law enforcement communities while honoring officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Each May, we remember these law enforcement officers and their families.
With already 23,785 names engraved on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, these names represent our local, state, federal and tribal heroes who courageously served their communities-and the family and friends who will never forget their service and sacrifice.
Since 1976, the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program, or PSOB, has been an invaluable resource to support survivors of fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders by providing death benefits. The Program now also provides education benefits, and disability benefits to officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty.
And in August 2022, the PSOB Program was expanded again under the Public Safety Officer Support Act of 2022 to recognize for the first-time law enforcement officers and other first responders who die by suicide under certain circumstances, as well as officers who are catastrophically injured by exposure to certain traumatic events. This law reflects the nation's recognition of the very real impact of policing on officers' mental health and wellness.
It is vital that we continue to support the families of officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Our utmost priority is keeping officers safe-both physically and mentally.
That's why the Bureau of Justice Assistance is focused on officer safety and wellness. In April of this year, Bureau of Justice Assistance, in cooperation with the Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS Office, brought together over 60 leading change makers from a variety of ranks and organizations to develop a blueprint for enhancing law enforcement officer safety and wellness. Themes from the event, which will form the basis for the blueprint, include the need to prioritize safety and wellness throughout all levels of law enforcement agencies, and the key role the health and support of the community plays in officer wellness. And most recently, we once again called on the leaders from the law enforcement field to convene and tackle the difficult topic of officer recruitment and retention. Together, we explored the new realities facing policing, including the real challenge of keeping officers safe and well, and their direct effect on attracting and keeping talented individuals within the law enforcement field. From these insightful discussions will emerge a comprehensive strategy, with both short- and long-term suggestions, to help ensure a solid foundation for the future of law enforcement staffing-- ensuring that we recruit and hire the best candidates to become our protectors and provide them with the training and resources needed to stay alive and stay healthy. As we all pause to reflect during Police Week this year, I want to encourage members of the community to engage with your local law enforcement - to learn more about potential partnerships and how to assist one another in the ultimate goal of overall community safety and wellness. I also want to again thank the members of the law enforcement community - every day you work to make the nation a safer place, one interaction at a time. We owe you our sincerest gratitude and appreciation for your tireless service and selfless commitment to policing. Finally, consider taking part in a National Police Week event to honor fallen officers and those who still serve. Visit bja.ojp.gov to learn more about how you can get involved and the resources available to support officer safety and wellness. Thank you.
Opinions or points of view expressed in these recordings represent those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. Any commercial products and manufacturers discussed in these recordings are presented for informational purposes only and do not constitute product approval or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Justice.