May 17, 2019

Graham Statement for the Record Commemorating National Police Week

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) entered a statement for the record commemorating National Police Week 2019.

Graham’s statement reads in part, “Among those being remembered this week are six [law enforcement officers] from my home state of South Carolina. Sergeant Terrence Carraway of the Florence Police Department, Detective Micheal Doty of the York County Sheriff’s Office, Corporal Dale Hallman of the Saluda County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy James Kirk, Jr. of the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Farrah Turner of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, and Deputy Jerry Hurd, Jr. of the Richland County Sheriff’s Office will all be memorialized on [the National Law Enforcement Memorial’s] stone walls.”  

“Their names will be a perpetual reminder to future generations of the high cost of keeping South Carolinians safe. We honor them, their families, and all of the other brave men and women who died while protecting our communities.”

 The full text of Graham’s statement is below.

 

Statement for the Record by Senator Lindsey Graham

Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee

Resolution Commemorating National Police Week 2019

May 16, 2019

Mr. President,

For over 50 years, our nation has preserved an annual tradition of honoring the brave men and women of law enforcement who make the ultimate sacrifice. This act of remembrance dates back to President John F. Kennedy’s designation of a “Peace Officers Memorial Day” in 1962, which has evolved over the years to become “National Police Week.”  Police Week now includes a weeklong celebration of our law enforcement officers and recognition for their sacrifices.

Tens of thousands from the law enforcement community have descended upon Washington this week, as they gather near the National Law Enforcement Memorial to remember their colleagues and their families.  The Memorial was dedicated in 1991 to honor our local, state, and federal law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. The long gray walls are curved in a way that makes them appear to go on forever.  Over 21,000 names are permanently inscribed into the marble walls as a reminder of the cost of maintaining a free, safe, and civil society.

On Wednesday, the 38th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service was held right outside on the West Front of the Capitol.  During this solemn ceremony, the names of 228 brave men and women were read in honor of their priceless contribution to their fellow citizens.

Among those being remembered this week are six from my home state of South Carolina. Sergeant Terrence Carraway of the Florence Police Department, Detective Micheal Doty of the York County Sheriff’s Office, Corporal Dale Hallman of the Saluda County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy James Kirk, Jr. of the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Farrah Turner of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, and Deputy Jerry Hurd, Jr. of the Richland County Sheriff’s Office will all be memorialized on those stone walls. Their names will be a perpetual reminder to future generations of the high cost of keeping South Carolinians safe. We honor them, their families, and all of the other brave men and women who died while protecting our communities.

While every officer deserves to have their story heard, I would like to call attention to Sergeant Carraway and Deputy Turner. On October 3rd, 2018, Florence County law enforcement executed a warrant on an individual accused of sexual assault on a child. As they arrived on scene, the officers were ambushed by the suspect’s father. When the officers got out of their vehicles, the father started shooting at them. The standoff – and the shooting – continued for two long hours. Despite the danger, the officers did not retreat, but continued to fight. After all was said and done, a total of seven law enforcement personnel had been shot. Sadly, both Sergeant Carraway and Deputy Turner were mortally wounded.

I was fortunate enough to attend Sgt. Carraway’s memorial service in Florence. It was a beautiful tribute to a life of service. This man was a decorated police officer, Air Force Reservist, coach, mentor, loving husband, father, and friend. Like many of those we are remembering this week, the Terrance Carraway’s of the world are the foundation of America’s goodness.

This is but one small example of how our law enforcement officers put themselves in harm’s way for the betterment of the community on a daily basis. These officers answered a call to take a suspect off the street and it cost them their lives. It is our duty to honor and remember their contribution and their sacrifice.

Mr. President, earlier this week I introduced a resolution to commemorate National Police Week. Included are the names of 159 brave men and women who answered the call of duty, but were sadly taken from us in 2018. This resolution has unanimous, bipartisan support and honors those who have given their lives in fulfilling this noble calling. I want to thank my 99 Senate colleagues who signed on as cosponsors of this measure.

In trying to grasp the essence of National Police Week, I think President George H. W. Bush summed it up best. During the groundbreaking ceremony for the National Law Enforcement Memorial in 1989, President Bush said, “The story to be carved on these walls is the story of America, of a continuing quest to preserve both democracy and decency and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream.”  I am proud to echo his words today and, along with my colleagues, ensure the story of our heroes is told. I encourage all Americans to take a moment this week to reflect on how law enforcement positively affects their own community. These officers show up every day on behalf of their fellow citizens to serve and protect the “American dream” that President Bush spoke of nearly 30 years ago. Join me in remembering the fallen; and let us ensure their sacrifice is never forgotten.

 

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