- - Tuesday, May 17, 2022

This week marks National Police Week, an annual recognition of the service and sacrifice of our men and women in law enforcement across the country. As the wife of a first responder, this week is a meaningful moment for me to pause and reflect on those who give so much to protect all of us each day. 

This year’s events come at a particularly challenging time in our nation’s history, as we face a historic crime surge amid two of the most violent years on record for public safety. In 2021, murders of law enforcement officers hit an all-time high, with rates up 59% from 2020. These tragic homicides included unprovoked attacks, officer ambushes and violence at levels this country has never seen before. 

Annual FBI statistics showed the U.S. experienced a 30% increase in murders in 2020 — the single largest annual increase since record-keeping began in the 1960s, and in cities where progressive politicians have pushed anti-police rhetoric, communities reached new homicide records. Americans across the country will remember watching the news and hearing about record crime weekends in cities across the country, wondering whether this would be a new normal or when the violence would end. 

We remember the young woman pushed onto the subway tracks in New York City in a random attack, the young student brutally murdered in broad daylight at a furniture store in California, and the parade watchers attacked in Kenosha, Wisconsin, before Christmas. These unwarranted, brazen attacks are just a few of the heart-wrenching tragedies we’ve faced in recent months, but sadly, such crimes have risen over the last two years, and it’s certainly no surprise why. 

Anti-law enforcement rhetoric pushed by the progressive left and the Biden administration has spurred this crime crisis. While the White House falsely claims that Republicans “defunded the police,” the American people see right through this lazy attempt to blame others for the very crises they created. Much like inflation, the border crisis, and the empty store shelves we confront daily now, President Biden and congressional Democrats yet again hope to shift the blame for something that is wholly under their control.

The radical left’s culture war against our men and women in blue has driven policy decisions around law enforcement, creating a public safety crisis of epic proportions. The “defund the police” movement no doubt encouraged many city leaders to cut their police budgets, as revealed by 50 of the largest U.S. cities cutting their law enforcement budgets by 5.2% on average in 2021. Those same cities are now struggling with record crime, and claim officer recruitment, retention and morale remain serious challenges for their departments. If it weren’t so sad and serious, it would be funny. 

Lax prosecutors, ineffective bail reform, low funding and a revolving-door-criminal justice system are some of the other issues plaguing public safety in the U.S., and it is past time we put an end to it. 

The truth is we need law and order and law enforcement now more than ever. Drugs, crime and human trafficking are on the rise — spurred in part by this administration’s border crisis — and well-trained police forces with committed officers are in demand. The American people deserve safety and they deserve solutions that ensure this pro-criminal agenda never sees the light of day again. With my Republican colleagues in Congress, we will take the House back this November and put an end to the dangerous ideas pushed by the left to ensure our society remains prosperous, free and committed to the very law and order upon which this country was founded. 

During National Police Week, we thank the officers who do a difficult and often thankless job, staring down some of the most challenging public safety issues this country has faced. The majority of the American people are grateful for the sacrifices of our heroes and their families and extend our sincerest gratitude to those who don the badge and uniform. Thank you and remember, we’ve got your six. 

• Rep. Kat Cammack is the youngest Republican woman in the 117th Congress. The wife of a firefighter, she serves on the House Homeland Security and Agriculture Committees.  

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