Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo
During National Police Week this month, our nation honors its law enforcement officers and remembers those who have given their lives protecting our communities. Coeur d'Alene Police Sergeant Gregory King Moore, a husband and father who served in the Coeur d'Alene Police Department for 16 years before he was killed last year in the line of duty, is among the law enforcement officers who are being honored this National Police Week.
A Senate Resolution I co-sponsored honors Greg Moore and 122 other law enforcement officers who lost their lives throughout our nation in 2015. The resolution, which designates National Police Week, expresses strong support for the federal, state, local and tribal police officers, sheriffs and other law enforcement officers across the U.S. who "serve with valor, dignity and integrity" in securing our communities. The Senate passed the resolution by unanimous consent.
Throughout National Police Week, numerous services, ceremonies, conferences and other events are held in our nation's capital to recognize the service and sacrifice of law enforcement and their families. Members of the Idaho Peace Officers Memorial Board and a delegation from the Coeur d'Alene Police Department traveled to Washington, DC, to take part in events honoring their fallen comrade. Groups, such as these, work to ensure that those who gave their lives in the line of duty are remembered and their families are supported. The Idaho Peace Officers Memorial honors Sergeant Moore among the 71 Idaho law enforcement officers the organization recognizes who gave their lives in service to Idaho families and communities.
The group is also involved in the addition of Sergeant Moore's name to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The national memorial "honors federal, state and local law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and protection of our nation and its people." It is a growing memorial with new names of fallen officers added annually during National Police Week to its marble walls etched with the names of more than 20,000 officers who have been killed in the line of duty throughout U.S. history.
I have had the honor of supporting legislation aimed at recognizing the important role law enforcement officers have in keeping our communities safe. Fellow Idaho Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and I are co-sponsors of S. 2034, the Thin Blue Line Act. This legislation would include killing or attempting to kill a law enforcement officer or prosecutor as an additional factor in considering whether to impose the death penalty.
I also supported the Senate Finance Committee's passage last year of the Don't Tax our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act, which was combined with other provisions and has become law. This new law exempts from federal taxation the death benefits provided under any federal or state program to the family of any officer killed in the line of duty.
Additionally, the Senate recently unanimously approved S. 1352, the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act, that would improve Pell Grant-eligibility for students whose parent or guardian died in the line of duty as a police officer, firefighter or other public safety officer.
Every day law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to keep us safe, while their families wait each day for their safe return home. These courageous men and women and their families are a central part of our communities, and I thank them for their commitment to keeping Idahoans and all Americans safe from harm.
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