Inside the Beltway: Don’t forget it’s National Police Week

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National Police Week — an annual observance to “respect, honor and remember” law enforcement officers — is now underway. It includes a virtual candlelight vigil at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington on Thursday. There are currently 22,611 names engraved on that memorial.

The Fraternal Order of Police also will feature the 40th annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service — an in-person event — in October. Consult PoliceWeek.org or Nleomf.org for information.

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, has been in contact with Marcia Ferranto, CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, and shared the details of their conversation.

Ms. Ferranto had a reminder that the coronavirus pandemic remains a factor for all officers; there have been 182 confirmed deaths within the ranks due to the virus in 2020, she said, with more expected.

“While we were all at home, adjusting to a new normal, the lives of our law enforcement didn’t change. They had no time or choice but to dive right in. No officers sat in their car saying they can’t go in because of COVID,” Ms. Ferranto told Mr. McCarthy.

“Let these men and women know when you see them that you appreciate what they do and the sacrifices they have made to keep our communities safe. We would not be living in this country as it is today without them,” she advised.

“House Republicans agree, and we will continue to honor our men and women in blue throughout National Police Week and beyond,” Mr. McCarthy’s office said in a statement.

Others agree as well.

“The national divide on the role of our police officers has never been greater. Anti-police rhetoric has permeated the ranks of our highest government officials. How far we have fallen from 1962 when President Kennedy and a joint resolution in Congress established May 15 as the National Peace Officers Memorial Day and eventually Police Week. It seems improbable that we could muster such bipartisan support for our police officers today,” said Texas Public Policy Foundation senior researcher Randy Petersen.

Mr. Petersen spent 21 years in law enforcement with the Bloomington, Illinois, Police Department, and later was director of the Tarrant County College District Criminal Justice Training Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

SOME GENUINE REPORTING

Fox News foreign correspondent Trey Yingst offered a significant update Tuesday, reporting live amid the violence which has escalated between Israel and Hamas.

“A massive barrage was just fired towards southern Israel. The entire crew and I had to just dive under the car. You can hear explosions off in the distance right now. Those missile defense systems that were right next to us started firing off, trying to intercept as many rounds as possible,” the helmeted correspondent told Fox News anchors in the U.S.

He also was clad in a flak jacket with the word “PRESS” spelled out in large letters.

“The soldiers around here are also taking any cover that they can get to. These are really the heaviest clashes we’ve seen along the border,” Mr. Yingst said, while constantly checking his surroundings and the safety of his crew.

“Guys, make sure your have flak jackets, your helmets — and stay close to the car,” the correspondent told them, then continued his report.

“We’ve been talking about this as an escalating conflict. This is the beginning steps of a war,” Mr. Yingst advised.

MEANWHILE ON THE SOUTHERN BORDER

The intensity of press coverage about the humanitarian crisis on the southern U.S. border seems to be ebbing away. But not all the coverage has disappeared.

“The Biden administration is holding tens of thousands of asylum-seeking children in an opaque network of some 200 facilities that The Associated Press has learned spans two dozen states and includes five shelters with more than 1,000 children packed inside,” AP reported Tuesday based on “confidential data” which reveals a dismal situation.

“The number of migrant children in government custody more than doubled in the past two months, and this week the federal government was housing around 21,000 kids, from toddlers to teens. A facility at Fort Bliss, a U.S. Army post in El Paso, Texas, had more than 4,500 children as of Monday. Attorneys, advocates and mental health experts say that while some shelters are safe and provide adequate care, others are endangering children’s health and safety,” the report noted.

“The AP found about half of all migrant children detained in the U.S. are sleeping in shelters with more than 1,000 other children. More than 17,650 are in facilities with 100 or more children. Some shelters and foster programs are small, little more than a house with a handful of kids. A large Houston facility abruptly closed last month after it was revealed that children were being given plastic bags instead of access to restrooms,” the AP said.

THE MIGHTY DESANTIS

Things are going, well, swimmingly in the fundraising department for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Friends of Ron DeSantis — the Republican chief executive’s political committee — raised almost $14 million during the month of April.

“The strong showing follows a hot March, where the political committee raised $5.1 million, giving it roughly $17 million cash on hand at that point. Cash on hand now is approaching $31.7 million,” said FloridaPolitics.com, noting that this “war chest” will be augmented by much buzz that Mr. DeSantis could run for president in 2024.

“DeSantis’ political committee far outperformed that of a fellow member of the Florida Cabinet who is exploring her own bid for governor. Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried‘s Florida Consumers First raised just over $361,000 in April. Her committee has just over $1.5 million on hand,” the news organization noted.

POLL DU JOUR

• 78% of U.S. adults continue to wear a face mask when around other people outside of their home.

• 68% are staying away from “large groups.”

• 64% have already received a COVID-19 vaccine.

• 61% are avoiding nonessential travel; 50% are avoiding other people “as much as possible.”

Source: An Associated Press/NORC poll of 1,842 U.S. adults conducted April 29-May 3.

Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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