• Mr. Speaker, this week is National Police Week . We take this time to honor local, state and federal law enforcement officers for their tireless dedication. We also remember those who have been killed in the line of duty.
  • Every day, brave men and women across the country put on the uniform, pin on the badge, and place themselves in harm's way to serve and protect our communities.
  • I grew up in a small town outside of Temple, Texas. When I was 5 or 6 years old, my dad took me to watch a parade in Temple. I noticed a man standing at the curb who was not in the parade, just watching it and the people in the crowd. Of course, it was a local police officer.
  • When my dad saw me watching this individual, he told me something I never forgot, ``If you are ever in trouble, if you ever need help, go to the person who wears the badge because they are a cut above the rest of us.''
  • Those words were true then and are true today. When people are in trouble and need help, who do they go to?
  • Peace officers.
  • These peace officers serve as the barrier between the law and the lawless, and they are all that separate us from the criminals and bad guys.
  • Everyone remembers where they were on Ð9/11 when they learned of the terrorist attack. I was driving to the courthouse in Houston, listening to the radio when it was interrupted with news about the airplane that crashed into the World Trade Center. As I continued, I heard that a second plane had crashed into the Second Tower, then another plane crashed in Pennsylvania, and then a fourth plane crashed not far from here, into the Pentagon.
  • As thousands of people ran away from the terrorist attack in New York, a much smaller group ran in the opposite direction--towards the scene of the attack--to help. This group was comprised of emergency technicians, firefighters, and peace officers. Seventy-two peace officers gave their lives that day. They, along with other first responders, gave the ultimate sacrifice so that others could live.
  • This week we gather to honor peace officers from across the country for their service and sacrifice. We honor them because they truly are, as my dad said many years ago, ``a cut above the rest of us.'' My home state of Texas is home to some of America's finest lawmen.
  • During my 22 years as a judge, I had the distinct privilege of working alongside many of them. These peace officers put their lives on the line each and every day to protect us all.
  • But that protection comes at a price. Almost 60,000 lawmen each year are injured in the line of duty, and an average of 150 officers are killed in the line of duty each year. In 2014, 117 law enforcement officers were killed; 11 of these brave souls were from the great state of Texas:
  • Mark Uland Kelley of the Trinity University Police Department;
  • Detective Charles Dinwiddie of the Kileen Police Department;
  • Sergeant Paul A. Buckles of the Potter County Sheriff's Office;
  • Chief of Police Lee Dixon of the Little River-Academy Police Department;
  • Chief of Police Michael Pimentel of the Elmendorf Police Department;
  • Border Patrol Agent Tyler R. Robledo of the United States Department of Homeland Security--Customs and Boarder Protection--United States Border Patrol;
  • Senior Deputy Jessica Laura Hollis of the Travis County Sheriffs Office;
  • Sergeant Michael Lee Naylor of the Midland County Sheriffs Office;
  • Deputy Sheriff Jesse Valdez, III of the Harris County Sheriff's Office;
  • Constable Robert Parker White of the El Paso County Constable's Office--Precinct One; and
  • Sergeant Alejandro ``Alex'' Martinez of the Willacy County Sheriff's Office.
  • These 10 men and 1 woman represent all that is good and right in our country. This week we remember those brave Texas officers and all officers who have been killed or wounded in the line of duty. And we say ``thank you'' to the thousands of men and women who continue to serve.
  • And that's just the way it is.