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Back the Blue: State officials honor National Police Week

In Alabama, National Police Week is a time of reflection and gratitude. It’s a time to pay tribute to fallen officers, express appreciation for those who serve, raise awareness about the challenges they face, and the celebrate remarkable achievements of our everyday law enforcement officers.

On Monday, National Peace Officers Memorial Day took place, and state leaders paid their respects. “Alabama will always respect those who wear the uniform,” Gov. Kay Ivey said.

National Police Week is also a time to take action, officials said.

Attorney General Steve Marshall highlighted the Deputy Brad Johnson Act and initiatives to equip law enforcement with more resources to stay safe while bringing dangerous criminals to justice.

“Alabama must always support our police, prioritize public safety, and ensure that we give our officers the resources and tools they need to protect our communities and themselves,” Marshall said. “The recently-passed Deputy Brad Johnson Act and the momentum behind the Alabama Gang Prevention Act send a clear message — Alabama stands with law enforcement.”

On the federal level, Alabama’s U.S. Senate delegation is among the most pro-police advocates in their class. Sen. Katie Britt, Sen. Tuberville and 37 Republican colleagues introduced the Back the Blue Act.

It would strengthen existing laws that protect police officers, increase the criminal penalties for individuals who target law enforcement, and expand the tools that police can use to protect themselves.

“As Democrats attack, defund, and promote violence against police across America, it’s more important than ever that we back the brave men and women in blue,” Tuberville (R-Auburn) said. “Any criminal who attacks an officer should be punished to the full extent of the law. Those penalties would be rightly increased by this legislation.”

Britt (R-Montgomery) is also a cosponsor of the Thin Blue Line Act, which expands the list of statutory aggravating factors in capital punishment determinations to also include killing or targeting a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or other first responder.

“Today, we honor the courageous law enforcement officers who have valiantly made the ultimate sacrifice,” she said. “Every single day, the brave men and women of law enforcement go above and beyond to serve and protect our communities.

“It is essential that we not only support our police, but we respect the rule of law in our country. I’m proud to join Senator Cornyn and my colleagues in introducing the Back the Blue Act, and I will always stand with our police officers in Alabama and across the country.”

The Alabama Legislature has authorized a slate of pro-police bills this session under the leadership of Senate President Pro Tem Greg Reed (R-Jasper) and Speaker of the House Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville).

“Today marks the beginning of National Police Week. Join me in honoring the bravery and dedication of the men and women in law enforcement with our utmost gratitude and respect,” Pro Tem Reed said on Monday. “Alabama stands indebted to the over 12,000 sworn officers who serve our communities and protect our families every day. Thank you all for your unwavering commitment to service.”

Grayson Everett is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270 for coverage of the 2023 legislative session.

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