WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) today participated in a press conference as part of the beginning of National Police Week.

During the press conference, Sen. Fischer shared her strong support for our law enforcement offers who work to keep people and communities safe. She discussed the public safety crisis facing our country. She also specifically highlighted how continued anti-police rhetoric has contributed to hiring and retention challenges for law enforcement, diminished officer morale, and eroded the public trust in policing. Sen. Fischer noted how police officers’ jobs have become more dangerous and the need for a comprehensive federal strategy to counter the rise in violent crime.

This year, National Police Week will be observed from May 11th to May 17th.

Click the image above to watch video of Sen. Fischer’s remarks

Excerpts from Sen. Fischer’s remarks are pasted below (edited for clarity):

On Impact of Anti-Police Rhetoric:

We’ve seen a lot of rhetoric against the police and the important work that they do. And that rhetoric has an impact on local agencies and local communities.

For the past two years, we’ve seen retirements and resignations continue to climb. Recruitment numbers are down.

I recently had conversations with law enforcement in the state of Nebraska, and they say they are receiving fewer applications.

In fact, the application numbers for some law enforcement communities are down 75% or more across the state of Nebraska.

This contributes to hiring challenges.

We know that police officers’ jobs have also become increasingly dangerous.

We have seen surges in violence and aggression towards police officers.

346 police officers were shot in the line of duty.

130 of them were targeted and shot in ambush-style attacks.

60 Minutes recently had FBI Director Christopher Wray speak, and he said there is a 59% increase in the murders of police officers, with 73 officers killed in 2021.

That’s a rate of about one police officer killed every five days.

Anti-police rhetoric has diminished morale. It has eroded public trust in law enforcement. 

On Crime Wave & Lack of Federal Response:

These factors, I believe, have contributed to a massive crime wave that we are seeing all across this country.

The administration’s response has been weak. That cannot continue.

We’ve had members of our party – Senator Cassidy is one – who has a resolution that would get at what we should be doing.

The resolution demands that the president work with Congress on a comprehensive strategy that encourages the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, as well as state and local law enforcement officers to counter the rise in violent crime by reinforcing strong criminal justice policies.

The Senate needs to pass that resolution.

We need to step forward and show that it is time to stop the rhetoric on defunding the police.

Instead, we need to honor the men and women who serve us every day. We need to address the public safety crisis facing this country.