May 11, 2021
As National Police Week begins, IACLEA President Eric Heath offers the following message:
Dear IACLEA Members,
In May of each year, the United States recognizes the many law enforcement officers who have given their lives or have been seriously injured in the line of duty. These officers have done so for the protection of the communities they serve. Rightfully so, we pay respect to those brothers, sisters, and their families for their sacrifice.
This past year has been uniquely difficult with the way COVID-19 has impacted our agencies and more importantly the lives of our public safety personnel throughout the world. According to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, there were 295 line-of-duty deaths in 2020, more than double the number in 2019 and the highest total since 1974. More than half of the Officer fatalities in the United States alone were COVID-19 related. For those in our profession who contracted COVID-19 and recovered, the long-term effects may not be known for some time.
Ours is a noble profession and our public safety employees serve with compassion, dedication, and a desire to help and protect others in deference to their own personal safety. Throughout the struggles of 2020 and those that continue in 2021, let us remember and honor those that have sacrificed the most. On May 15th, please join me in remembering those campus police colleagues we lost in the last 12 months including:
Officer Jose Antonio Buso, Sr. – Alamo Colleges Police Department
Sergeant Parnell L. Guyton – University of Alabama Birmingham Police Department
Officer Jerry Steven Hemphill – Lanier Technical College Police Department
Sergeant Lionel Martinez – Alamo Colleges Police Department
Corporal Martinus Mitchum – Tulane University Police Department
Sergeant Jeffery Robert Smith – Berry College Police Department
Yours in Public Safety,