Hi, I’m Jim Comey, Director of the FBI. On
behalf of the whole FBI, I want to take a few minutes to recognize and thank our
law enforcement colleagues as we honor you during National Police Week. I’m speaking to you today from the FBI’s Hall
of Honor—a special place within our Headquarters where we honor those who have either been
injured or killed in the line of duty. Each name on the wall represents a story of sacrifice.
They are the stories of brave men and women who went to work thinking that it would be
just another day, but something happened that would change—or even end—their
life. This week, we honor especially our brothers
and sisters in law enforcement who have given their lives while serving the public. That
list is way too long. Over the past year, we lost people who walked the beat for decades, and we lost another earlier this year who gave her life on her first shift—just one
day after taking the oath. I’ve said it before: One of the saddest
things I do as Director is call police chiefs and sheriffs when their departments
have lost one of their own. Each call is heartbreaking, and I have to make far too many of them. These tragedies remind us that our safety
and our freedoms, which we hold so dear, are purchased at great cost. The memories of these
heroes should inspire us to do everything we can to ensure that our fellow officers,
deputies, troopers, and agents return home safely at the end of their shifts. As we remember our fallen colleagues during
this week, we also celebrate the service of every person in our country who wears the
badge. Each of you has accepted the demands and dangers that are inherent in this work. Because you see it as what it is—a calling. In this profession, we are lucky. We get
to do good for a living. You don’t make much money, but you have found a great way to make a life.
You make that life for yourselves, but, most importantly, you make it for the people
you serve and protect. We at the FBI are grateful to you for making
that choice—and for continuing to make that choice every single day. I know the pressures on you today are great.
The job is stressful. There are pressures on the job, in the community, and at home.
For some of you, you may work in communities where you aren’t viewed with the respect and
gratitude that we’d expect, but instead with suspicion and mistrust. We have to change that. All of us in law enforcement have to continue
to reach out to the communities we serve so that folks can understand better the difficult
and often frightening work that we do to keep them safe. At the same time, we have to continue to listen
to their concerns and work with them to build and improve the relationships that are at
the center of our success. We in the FBI are proud to stand with you
in this work of building trust and keeping our communities safe. Thanks again for your service and for your
devotion to this great calling of law enforcement. Stay safe.