- The Washington Times - Monday, October 27, 2014

Speaking to a gathering of police chiefs Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the work of law enforcement is “often thankless” and “challenging,” but is absolutely “vital” to the U.S. and to the world.

“These sacrifices are too often overlooked,” Mr. Holder told the annual conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. “And I believe we do ourselves, our communities and our nation a grave disservice if we ignore these difficulties.”

Law enforcement officials, who the IACP represents, provide leadership in their communities, but must continue to address ongoing tensions like those in Ferguson, Missouri, the attorney general told the group’s annual gathering in Orlando.

“As law enforcement leaders, it is incumbent upon each of us to take constructive, inclusive steps to rebuild trust and instill respect for the rule of law in all of the communities where these tensions are uncovered,” he said. “When people have faith in the integrity of the process — they are more likely to cooperate with local authorities and obey the law, even if they disagree with particular outcome.”

Mr. Holder also addressed the growing topic of heroin overdoses, advocating for all police officers to be equipped with anti-overdose medication, such as the compound naloxone.

“I am confident that these efforts will save and improve lives while conserving precious resources, Mr. Holder said. “We must never — and we will never — stop being vigilant against crime, or the conditions and choices that breed it. But investing in effective prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation; ensuring that incarceration is used appropriately — and reserving the toughest penalties for serious, violent, or high-level traffickers — can only serve to strengthen our criminal justice system as a whole.”

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