HYDE-SMITH ENCOURAGES SUPPORT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT IN 2023 POLICE WEEK MESSAGE
Miss. Senator Pays Tribute to Nine Fallen Miss. Officers Honored this Year
WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the 2023 National Police Week underway, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today encouraged policymakers and the public to “put words into action” in terms of supporting law enforcement.
Hyde-Smith made the request in a Congressional Record statement honoring the nine fallen law enforcement officers who will be recognized as part of this year’s National Police Week activities.
“My state of Mississippi is blessed with amazing law enforcement. These men and women in blue are not only hometown heroes, but also are an integral part of our communities. Every loss of an officer is deeply felt by all,” Hyde-Smith said.
“To honor their memory, we must put our words into actions by ensuring our officers have the resources and tools they need to do their jobs safely and effectively. It’s critical they have adequate support for training, equipment, and technology, as well as policies that prioritize officer safety and well-being,” the Senator added. “For my part, I will continue to be an advocate for law enforcement professionals and provide support where possible, and do all I can to honor the legacy of those lost in the line of duty.”
The nine officers from Mississippi, whose names have been added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C., include Bay St. Louis Police Dept. Sgt. Steven Michael Robin and Officer Branden Paul Estorffe; Brookhaven Police Dept. Lt. Marzell Jerome Brooks; Greenville Police Dept. Investigator Myiesha Breanna Stewart; Hinds County Sheriff Lee Dan Vance, Jr.; Lincoln County Deputy Sheriff Robert Edward Moak, Sr.; Meridian Police Dept. Senior Officer Kennis Winston Croom; Pontotoc Police Dept. Sgt. Jeffrey Ray Turner; and Verona Police Dept. Asst. Chief Johnny Raymond Patterson. They are among the names of 556 officers killed in the line of duty were added to the national memorial in 2023.
As part of National Police Week, Hyde-Smith again cosponsored U.S. Senator John Cornyn’s Back the Blue Act (S.1569) that would increase the penalties for criminals who kill, threaten, or conspire to kill federal judges, law enforcement officers, or public safety officers.
The measure, which also expands self-defense and Second Amendment rights for law enforcement officers, is supported by Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), and the New York Police Department Sergeants Benevolent Association.
“Growing instances of threats and actual violence against law enforcement and the judiciary is unacceptable,” Hyde-Smith said. “The Back the Blue Act would strengthen the penalties for those actions and give officers more tools to protect themselves.”
Read Hyde-Smith’s Congressional Record statement for 2023 National Police Week here:
M_ President, this week our nation commemorates the 2023 National Police Week and honors the brave men and women of law enforcement who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. As a nation we will pay tribute to those who have given their lives to protect our communities, and join in mourning their loss with their families and loved ones.
As we recognize National Police Week and remember these fallen officers, we must acknowledge the critical role that law enforcement officers play in keeping our communities safe. They leave their homes and families every day not knowing if they will return. The amount of courage, dedication, and passion that demands cannot be overstated.
It’s important to remember, too, that their families also demonstrate exceptional courage, as they support their loved ones knowing the circumstances are sometimes life and death.
My state of Mississippi is blessed with amazing law enforcement. These men and women in blue are not only hometown heroes, but also are an integral part of our communities. Every loss of an officer is deeply felt by all.
I would like to specifically remember and honor the nine fallen officers from Mississippi whose names have been added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial this year. These officers died heroes in service to their communities, and we will forever be grateful for their sacrifice.
We remember: Steven Michael Robin and Branden Paul Estorffe of the Bay St. Louis Police Department who were shot and killed while conducting a welfare check, and Marzell Jerome Brooks of the Brookhaven Police Department, who passed from COVID-19 during the commission of his job duties.
We remember: Myiesha Breanna Stewart of the Greenville Police Department, who was shot and killed during a vehicle pursuit of a suspect who fled the scene after a shooting; Lee Dan Vance, Jr. of the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office who died after contracting COVID-19 during an outbreak among employees and inmates; and Robert Edward Moak, Sr. of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, who was killed by a suspect who he had testified against in court.
We remember: Kennis Winston Croom of the Meridian Police Department, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call, and Jeffrey Ray Turney of the Pontotoc Police Department succumbed to COVID-19 after contracting the illness during the commission of his job duties.
Lastly, we remember: Johnny Raymond Patterson of the Verona Police Department, who was struck by a vehicle while directing traffic.
To honor their memory, we must put our words into actions by ensuring our officers have the resources and tools they need to do their jobs safely and effectively. It’s critical they have adequate support for training, equipment, and technology, as well as policies that prioritize officer safety and well-being.
For my part, I will continue to be an advocate for law enforcement professionals and provide support where possible, and do all I can to honor the legacy of those lost in the line of duty.
I ask my colleagues to join me in remembering and honoring these brave officers in Mississippi and across the nation during National Police Week and throughout the year. It is my prayer that their families and loved ones find comfort in knowing that their sacrifices will never be forgotten.