Police Week 2015
This week Customs and Border Protection gathered together to mourn our most recent losses – Border Patrol Agent Alexander Giannini and Border Patrol Agent Tyler Robledo – and also to honor the memory of those who have marked our history with their bravery, their service, and their selfless sacrifice.
During this week, I have reflected on the many years I have spent in law enforcement. There is no getting used to losing an officer or agent. It does not get easier with time. But what strikes me is the community. I am always proud of our community. This community made up of law enforcement, their families, and the people they serve. This community that embraces the families of the fallen holds them close and doesn’t let them go.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine agent and a CBP officer hold the memorial wreath at the May 13 Valor Memorial and Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Woodrow Wilson Plaza in Washington, D.C. The annual ceremony honors the agents and officers of CBP and its legacy agencies who died in the line of duty. Photo Credit: Donna Burton
CBP officers and agents are tasked with enormous responsibilities as part of our increasingly complex mission. They are the “front line,” guarding our borders and keeping terrorists and criminals out of the country. This is law enforcement, but it’s a different kind of law enforcement.
It’s Border Patrol agents whose duties take them to remote areas of the border alone, far from any back up.
It’s CBP Officers who enforce the laws of over 40 agencies at the border while providing a warm welcome to visitors and those coming home.
And it’s Air and Marine Interdiction agents who rescue stranded hikers or provide air support to local law enforcement and keeping illicit drugs off our streets.
They do all of this while facilitating the over a million travelers and tens of thousands of shipping containers that enter this country every day.
Our fallen brothers and sisters are our everyday heroes. They chose to serve their country by signing up for one of the toughest, most demanding law enforcement jobs in the country. Despite the dangers and unpredictable nature of the work, they walked with purpose and courage towards them, committed to CBP’s core values of vigilance, integrity, and service to country.
We honor these good men and women – those who continue to serve and those whose watch has ended. It has been our honor to know them and to serve with them.
This morning at the National Peace Officer’s Memorial Service at the U.S. Capitol and all week the families were surrounded by people – visitors in town for Police Week or locals on their lunch breaks – all of whom showed them respect and admiration.
Not only this week, but every week – we must reveal ourselves to be worthy of having once stood shoulder to shoulder with those we now honor and remember.