In Iowa, we respect our police and proudly back the men and women in blue 100%. They put their lives on the line every day to protect our families and communities expecting no recognition in return. Despite calls from some of my colleagues to dismantle our police departments and demolish the rule of law, I reject these dangerous proposals. We must defend – never defund – our brave police and law enforcement officers. Their service and sacrifice are to be commended and recognized, not dismissed and mocked.
During National Police Week, I proudly supported several pieces of legislation to back our law enforcement community as they face threats to their safety and wellbeing, including a bipartisan resolution to commend the service of our police officers and condemn in the strongest terms possible efforts to defund the police. This resolution rightfully memorializes the 556 law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty and whose stories were recovered in 2022. This devastating figure includes Fremont County Sheriff’s Deputy, Austin “Melvin” Wayne Richardson, who was tragically killed in a traffic collision on June 14, 2022. We can never thank officers like Sheriff’s Deputy Richardson enough for making the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our communities.
Additionally, I voted for, and the House Republican Conference passed, the POLICE Act to make assaulting a law enforcement official a federal crime and deportable offense. In 2019 alone, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested illegal immigrants who accounted for nearly 46,000 assault convictions and charges combined. Since President Biden refuses to secure our border, our law enforcement and border patrol agents face constant threats to their lives while doing their jobs. It’s wrong, and this legislation will hold violent criminals accountable for their actions.
I have also cosponsored the Protect and Serve Act, which would create federal penalties for criminals who intentionally target, harm, and attack law enforcement officers. According to the Fraternal Order of Police, 331 police officers were shot in the line of duty last year – 62 of whom died from their wounds. Compared to 2020, police departments nationwide have also experienced a 32% increase in officers killed by gunfire – a sobering reminder of the incredible risks of wearing the badge. We cannot accept these alarming statistics as commonplace. We must take action to protect our police and save lives.
Our men and women in blue deserve our utmost gratitude and deepest appreciation for their service to our families. In Congress, I will continue to stand with our law enforcement community, ensure that they have the tools and resources they need to do their jobs, and speak out against ridiculous attempts to defund the police. Iowa’s police and law enforcement will always have an unwavering ally in me – period.
We are government together, and your thoughts and opinions matter to me. Please contact my office at Feenstra.House.Gov or by phone at 202-225-4426 if I can ever be of assistance. I am proud to represent our families, farmers, main street businesses, and rural communities in Congress.