Miss. Senator’s Maiden Speech Also Highlights the Need for Responsive Government in Face of Disaster Situations

Tribute to Fallen Biloxi Office Robert McKeithen
VIDEO:  Senator Hyde-Smith pays tribute to fallen Biloxi Office Robert McKeithen.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today used her official maiden speech on the Senate floor to pay tribute to Biloxi Police Officer Robert McKeithen, who was killed in the line of duty on Sunday, May 5.

Hyde-Smith, who won a special election last November, offered remarks on McKeithen, as well as the need for a responsive federal government to help Mississippians and other citizens overcome disaster situations.

“Today, I rise to speak on several important topics,” Hyde-Smith said.  “First and foremost, to honor Officer Robert McKeithen, a 24-year decorated veteran of the Biloxi Police Department, who lost his life in the line of duty this past Sunday night, May 5th.  
“Officer McKeithen was described by his Chief as ‘an unbelievably fine policeman.’  He was an Air Force veteran, a husband, and a father, who dedicated his life to serving the people of Biloxi, my state, and our nation.

“His loss is a tragedy, and a stark reminder that law enforcement officers risk their lives daily to keep us safe.  Officer McKeithen’s family, colleagues, and friends certainly have my deepest sympathy.”

McKeithen, 58, was shot Sunday outside the Biloxi Police Department.  A 24-year veteran of the Biloxi police force, McKeithen earned the Medal of Valor for his life-saving efforts during Hurricane Katrina.  He was also a decorated Air Force veteran, who retired from the service before becoming a law enforcement officer.  McKeithen is survived by his wife Pamela, four children, and two grandchildren.  Funeral services will be Monday, May 13, in Biloxi.

Click here for the full text of Hyde-Smith’s maiden speech.