Yesterday, in honor of Police Week, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco, and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta hosted a roundtable discussion with leaders of law enforcement organizations focused on officer safety and wellness at a time of heightened gun violence.
The Attorney General opened the meeting by recognizing the significance of Police Week, a time to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their communities and the nation. He recognized that law enforcement has faced increased, targeted violence, and that the rise in violent crime makes the work of law enforcement more dangerous and more difficult. The Attorney General reaffirmed the Department’s commitment to officer safety and wellness, and the vital importance of law enforcement partnerships to protect communities from violent crime.
Deputy Attorney General Monaco shared the steps the Department has taken and is taking to reduce violent crime and tackle gun violence, including the importance of comprehensive firearm tracing and ballistics analysis.
Associate Attorney General Gupta highlighted the importance of these meetings, saying that the steps the Department takes to support officer safety and wellness are often based on feedback from the Department’s state, local, and Tribal partners. She closed by saying she was looking forward to strategizing together on ways to tackle violent crime next week at the Department’s Project Safe Neighborhood conference.
All three Department leaders thanked those in attendance for their service and sacrifices.
Themes throughout the hour-long discussion included how the Justice Department can best help its state and local partners combat violent crime; patterns and trends law enforcement are experiencing regarding gun violence; and the biggest challenges that federal, state, and local law enforcement rank-and-file are facing every day in the field.
Along with the top three leaders of the Department, also in attendance from the Department were FBI Director Christopher Wray; USMS Director Ronald Davis; DEA Administrator Anne Milgram; ATF Acting Director Gary Restaino; ATF Deputy Director Marvin Richardson; Robert Chapman, Acting Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPS); Amy Solomon, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP); and Jen Kaplan, General Counsel of the Office of Violence Against Women.
Prior to the discussion, Attorney General Garland hosted a reception for members of law enforcement. And earlier in the day, Attorney General Garland and Deputy Attorney General Monaco attended memorials to honor those who lost their lives in the line of duty from the ATF, DEA, FBI, and USMS.
Earlier this morning, the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, and Associate Attorney General placed a wreath at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and reflected on the sacrifices law enforcement – and their families – make in service to their communities and country. This evening, the Attorney General will attend the annual Candlelight Vigil and read names of the fallen.