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Last Friday, S&T attended and livestreamed the Federal Protective Service (FPS) Wreath Laying Ceremony in honor of officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. It was an honor for us to bring this ceremony to those who could not attend, and to show our support to the men and women who protect our communities, federal facilities, ports of entry and borders every day.
Secretary Kelly—joined by Deputy Secretary Elaine Duke, FPS Director L. Eric Patterson and U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft—shared moving words about the value law enforcement officers bring to our communities and our nation.
To honor National Police Week, I want to echo his remarks, and note how proud we are to stand behind the brave men and women who put a badge on each day. We know that they are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, friends and colleagues. We know that behind every badge, there is a story.
For some, that story has ended with the ultimate sacrifice. And we honor their service and remember their dedication to protecting our communities and upholding our laws.
Law enforcement officers have an important mission and face of a variety of adversaries, threats and challenges. For today’s officers and those who will take an oath to serve in the future, S&T pursues the development of technologies that can protect officers when they are in harm’s way.
From technologies that help bomb squads disarm explosives threats to updated uniforms, we are developing solutions that keep officers safe while protecting our communities. We are also researching aspects of first response through efforts like our Next Generation First Responder program, which works to integrate a suite of technologies that will give officers more situational awareness and connected communication. We also incorporate officer voices and perspectives through our First Responder Resource Group, so we can consistently understand what is needed on the front lines.
I know this part of our mission is important for those who put a uniform each day. I want to thank all of our law enforcement officers for their service—across DHS and our nation—and honor the memory of the fallen officers who gave their lives in the line of duty.