WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden praised law enforcement officers who defended the U.S. Capitol during the attack on Jan. 6 in remarks Saturday at the National Peace Officers’ annual memorial service.
Biden said the officers of the U.S. Capitol Police and Washington, D.C. Metropolitan police department “thwarted an unconstitutional and fundamentally un-American attack on the nation’s value and our votes” during the events of Jan. 6.
At the U.S. Capitol was the location of the memorial to 491 fallen law enforcement officers. In honor of fallen officers, flags were flown at half-staff.
“Because of you democracy survived,” Biden said, “but only because of the women and men of the United States Capitol Police force, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan police department and other law enforcement agencies, who once again, literally put their bodies on the line to protect democracy.”
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Biden also spoke on the heavy expectations of police officers, stating that “being a cop today is a hell of a lot harder than it’s ever been.”
“It always amazes me how the public doesn’t fully understand what we expect of our law enforcement officers,” he said. We expect you to put up a fight for our safety and be willing to take the bullet. You should be able track down bad people. You are expected to do everything. We expect everything of you, and it’s beyond the capacity of anyone to meet the expectations.”
Biden pledged to work for police reform, despite the failure of a bipartisan deal on reforming police. Biden stated that he will explore executive action to make officers accountable.
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Despite the failure, Biden credited the National Fraternal Order of Police, a major officers union which endorsed former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, with “sincerely trying to reach an agreement” on policing reform.
Biden also promised to provide support and resources for officers and police departments, saying he’s already asked Congress for hundreds of millions of dollars for training, recruitment and additional resources like mental health professionals.
“The toll on this profession these past two years has been heavy,” Biden said. “Unless we change the environment in which the job can be done, we’re going to have trouble having enough women and men come forward who want to do the job.” .
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