tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 15, 2015 11:00pm-1:01am EDT
traumatized through this accident that they were in. and they've not fully recovered from their injuries. we did interview the engineer today. it's been widely reported he's 32 years old. he had his f.r.a., federal railroad administration, required physical just last month. our investigators found the engineer to be extremely cooperative. he was accompanied by his lawyer which is not at all unusual. and the engineer told us to contact him if we needed anything else. so again we found him to be extremely cooperative. he recalls ringing the train bell as he went through the north philadelphia station, that's not a normal station stop for him, but he's required by regulation to sound his bell. may have said horn.
he's required to sound his bell as he goes through -- past the station stop. and he did that. he recalled doing that. but he has no recollection of anything past that. he felt fully qualified and comfortable with his equipment and he reported no problems with his train handling. and when asked, when asked, he demonstrated a very good knowledge, very good working knowledge of the territory. speed limitations, things like that. he began his railroad career while he was in college as a brakeman. he started with amtrak in 2006 as a conductor. and in 2010 he became a locomotive engineer. since 2012 he's worked out of new york city and he's been on
this particular job for several weeks. he works five days a week, it's an out and back trip for him. new york, washington and back to new york. five days a week. he said that he did not feel fatigued nor did he report any illness. as we reported the other day the train has three conductors. the conductor is not able to be interviewed as he is still in the hospital. however we did interview the two assistant conductors. assistant conductor number one is 39 years old, she was hired by amtrak in 2011 and she was in
the fourth car, which is the cafe car. she stated that before departing washington, the entire crew conducted a safety briefing where they went over all of the speed restrictions along their intended route. she reported that it was a normal run through philadelphia, everything was normal up through philadelphia. and she said she could hear the transmission of the locomotive engineer, as conductors carry radios and they're frequently talking to and listening to the locomotive engineer. so she could hear the transmissions from the locomotive engineer. she reported that approximately three to four minutes after departing philadelphia she said she heard the engineer talking to a septa engineer. she recalled that the other engineer had reported to the train dispatcher that he had either been hit by a rock or shot at.
and that the septa engineer said he had a broken wind shield and he placed his train into emergency stop. she also believed she heard the engineer say something about -- she also believed that she heard her engineer say something about his train being struck by something. this is her recollection and certainly we're going to be conducting further investigation of this comment. our investigation has not independently confirmed this information, but we have seen damage to the left-hand lower portion of the amtrak wind shield, that we have asked the f.b.i. to come in and look at
for us. we oftentimes rely on the f.b.i. for their technical expertise in such areas and they will be there tonight looking at this particular damage to the amtrak locomotive. win shield. of course when the engine went through the impact, the wind shield was shattered but there's particular damage there that we want them to look at for us. we've secured the track image recorded from -- recorder from the septa train to see what we can learn from that. moving forward, right after she recalled hearing this conversation between the engineer and -- her engineer and septa
engineer, she said that she felt a rumbling and her train leaned over and her car went over on its side. she said they were not able to self-evacuate and they waited for the emergency responders to get them out. she said she had about 15 passengers in her car. we asked what her relationship working relationship was with the -- with her locomotive engineer. she said she'd worked with hymn a good bit and said he was -- with him a good bit and said he was great to work with. she said he was always offering to help her with her job. now let's move to the assistant conductor number two. he's 35 years old, he was hired by amtrak in may of last year, just a few days before the accident, he had celebrated his one-year anniversary with amtrak. he was in the seventh passenger car, that of course is the last passenger car, and he reported
having about 40 people in his car. up to the accident he reported no problems other than some radio problems, radio problems with his portable radio. he said that sporadically he could hear, but not sure that some of his transmissions were going out. at the point that we're describing, at the location of the accident, he said he felt shaking then two major impacts. he said that interior seats disconnected and he attempted to contact the amtrak dispatch center, but does not recall receiving a response. he assisted with the evacuation of engine passengers until he was instructed by emergency responders to go seek medical attention on his own. he said he had not worked much
with the amtrak engineer for the accident trip, but he did say he was happy with the engineer and described the engineer as being very professional. so what we've just described is the information that allowed us to delay the press conference so that we could report that information to you. we've got some other investigative activities that we'll fill new on, what's been going on. we've mentioned through the week a 3-d laser scanner. we've done a 3-d laser scanning of the locate motive interior and exterior. we've scanned a passenger car so we can compare the -- that to the damaged cars. and we've also documented interior safety features in all cars. we'll continue -- we've
continued the testing of the signals and the signals circuitry. basically as the tracks are being rebuilt, our signals go along to check the continuity of the circuitry. over the weekend we plan to reassemble the train set as much as we can, to put it back together, connect the brake loins and conduct a brake test -- lines and conduct a brake test and that will take several days. over the course of the last few days, some of you have asked what would we do if we could not talk to the engineer? and how would we resolve it? one of the things we've called for in the wake of a failed train crash in 2008, where 25 people were killed, including the engineer, the ntsb issued recommendations for forward facing
image records and inward facing image records, so something that would get a video image video and audio image of what's going on inside the locomotive cab, as well as the outward facing cameras. of course this train did have an outward facing camera. we also feel it's important to have the inward facing cameras. that issue -- that recommendation was issued in 2010 when we completed our investigation of that accident in california. and the f.r.a. has said that they do intend to act upon that recommendation. there's a lot to be done. i think over the last few days we've gotten a lot done. but this will be our final press briefing on scene. future information on this accident will be coming from our
press office in washington, d.c. in just a moment i'll ask peter to explain that process. but basically i think you can follow us on our web page, www.ntsb.gov. and also follow us at twitter. i think you know our twitter handle is @ntsb. i want to emphasize that even though this is the final press briefing, certainly there is a lot of work that needs to be done and will be done over the next several days while our investigative team is here in philadelphia. there's a lot that needs to be done and will be done. but anyway, that's the end of my prepared remarks. if you would please raise your hand, i'll call on you and identify your outlet. questioner: you said the route is from new york to washington and then back to new york? was he coming back -- [inaudible] robert: he does. that was his -- the answer is,
it's one round trip. so he starts in the early afternoon, new york, washington, back to new york. so it's one round trip. questioner: how much time is between that? robert: how much time is between that, we will have his schedule. i don't have it immediately in front of me. we are here to get information that will go away with the passage of time. his schedule we can get next week. but we want to do things like train interviews and things like that, crew interviews. yes, sir. questioner: what else can explain the acceleration of the train? speaker: the train does not have -- i flew airplanes for a long time. we had airplanes that had automatic throttles, trains do not have automatic throttles. it's a manual input. we're going to be through the
event recorder, through the black box, if will you, we do -- one of the parameters recorded is throttle movement. we'll be looking at that to see if that might correspondent with the speed increase. we're also looking for any kind of speed anomaly. questioner: [inaudible] -- you have been able to get any of his toxicology reports back, blood work, things like that? are there any other video sources of the train that may show you -- [inaudible] robert: have we been able to get the tox reports and is there any other video that we may be able to learn from? let me address the video issue first. we're always surprised and happy that there are video sources that come from unintended sources like has been reported on the media. there was a security camera that
reported some sparking or really an explosion as it was described on tv that probably came as a result of lines collapsing after the collision -- after the accident. so people have cell phone cameras and things like that. so we're always looking for additional sources of video information, if anybody has video information that we don't know about. we'd love to hear about it from our witness line. that within line is email@example.com. we'd love to hear from that. also the first part of the question was tox results. let me say first of all, i hear people talking about blood work. we do not, the ntsb, does not request blood work. we don't do that. but by federal law, whenever there's a transportation accident involving commercial entities,
by federal law safety sensitive transportation workers are required to perform drug and alcohol testing. that is done by the carrier. in this case, by amtrak. so amtrak has conducted that in accordance with the regulations. at least that's the information we have at this time. that information is set. we take a split sample, amtrak sends that to their independent lab, we send it to our independent lab in oklahoma city. and one of the f.a.a. -- i'm sorry, the d.o.t. requirement is for five specific drugs to be checked for. we send it to the f.a.a. in oklahoma city to look for many many drugs. over-the-counter drugs. it's a wrong answer to -- long answer to say that that process takes time, but the process has been initiated. there's a question right here. questioner: based on what you
saw at the scene and the interviews you've gotten so far today, what is the preliminary conclusion you can draw in terms of what caused this crash? you say you want to look at a particular part of the window. what are you looking for? what did you see that raised suspicion? robert: a couple questions there. what conclusions with we draw? the answer to that is easy. we do not draw conclusions at this stage of an accident investigation. we're here to collect information. we will draw conclusions at the completion of the investigation, which will be after a very thorough and comprehensive investigation. regarding the question about what damage patterns to that wind shield are we having the f.b.i. look at, it would be on the -- if you're standing in the middle of the locomotive cab, the centerline, over here's where the engineer's wind shield. is over here is the other wind shield.
in the lower portion of the left-hand wind shield, there is a circular pattern that emanates out just a bit. so that's the damage to that. questioner: a rock might have gone through that? robert: what could have caused that? we are going to -- that will be part of the analysis and that's exactly what we're going to look at. questioner: since the ntsb requires similar compliance of truck drivers -- [inaudible] robert: does the ntsb questioner: [inaudible] -- number of hours. robert:: what hours of service requirements are there for modes of transportation? those are not regulated by the ntsb. those are regulated by the u.s. department of transportation and they are different depending on whether you're a trucker or a commercial bus driver or an airline pilot or whether you are
a train operator. they're very complex. to sit here and explain it right now, i'd have to spend a lot of time looking through regulations. but they are different according to each mode of transportation. questioner: the engineer's injuries and this interview, did anything indicate -- [inaudible] robert: does the engineer indicate from his injuries that there may have been -- that he may have been struck by something entering the cab? he did not report anything to that affect when he interviewed -- when we interviewed him this afternoon. questioner: [inaudible] robert: did it come from the assistant -- i'm sorry, did the engineer report anything about that conversation about the
projectile or being shot at? was he specifically asked that question? he was specifically asked that question and he did not recall -- he did not recall anything of that sort. but there again he does not -- he reported that he does not have any recollection of anything past north philadelphia. can we kill those fans? can you figure out how to work that thing over there? thank you. good job. almost good job. [laughter] thank you. questioner: i know you said you don't have the schedule right now. do you know if these two routes were the only ones for the day -- [inaudible] -- had he done any other trips? robert: had he done any other trips of that day? no, he had not. he reported for duty in new
york, took his train to washington and then he was on his return trip to new york. questioner: the second question, you said -- [inaudible] robert: do we have any information from the track image recorder, the video recorder from the septa train? we have just secured that and have not looked at that -- have not evaluated that yet. questioner: did he report having any problems on the way down with the train? robert: did he report having any troubles on the train going down? he operated a different train going down and also he reported no fatigue throughout the day or any illness throughout the day. questioner: and no problems on the way down? >> he had some technical problems on the train going down that got in about 30 minutes late. robert: thanks. just for the microphone purposes, he did apparently have
some technical problems on the route down to washington. questioner: follow-up, it's not reporting fatigue, did he report that that was stressful that he was frazzled in any way from that experience? robert: i have no knowledge of him being frazzled as a result of being on time -- or being a little late. questioner: [inaudible] -- is there any evidence of video image on the train to show any projectile? when the conductor said she overheard the engineer saying that someone may have thrown something at his train, does she believe -- in that context, does she believe it was at that moment or prior to that? robert: does the track image recorder from the amtrak train reveal anything about anything being thrown at the train?
and when we evaluated it yesterday, we did not see anything. we will of course -- we're very interested in this report. we want to learn more about it. so we will use all sources of information that we can to independently validate that. the second part of your question, which i've already forgotten, was exactly what? questioner: -- reported recalling her engineer saying that something might have struck his window as well. was it your understanding that she meant at that moment that they were speaking it happened or it may have happened prior to that? robert: the sort of time frame of things that she's recalling, believing that she heard the septa engineer reporting to the amtrak dispatcher that he had had a broken wind shield and thought that something had either been thrown at his train or being shot at, and then at that time, according to her recollection, the amtrak engineer stated that he had had
something along the same lines. questioner: at this point do you have any other corroborating evidence about what may have been a projectile going through the wind shield? robert: at this point do we have any information to corroborate anything shooting at either of the trains? at this time we don't other than the fact that we're having the f.b.i. go out and examine this fracture pattern in the wind shield. this was late breaking news for us. again, that's why we delayed the press conference. we just interviewed these people this afternoon. it's new information for us and so we will use all available sources to independently corroborate that. let's see. somebody we haven't called on. "wall street journal." questioner: two questions. do you guys know yet whether or
not the engineer was manually increasing the speed using the throttle? did the train's alert system work? did the brakes kick in automatically? robert: the question is, and i actually answered the first question about do we know if the train was -- the throttle was being moved -- was being advanced manually. i've already answered that question. the other part of the question is that, did the train stop on its own or did it stop because the alerter had not, you know in a train if an engineer does not make a movement, throttle movement, horn movement, bell movement, anything like that, if a throttle -- if an engineer does not make an input to the train within a certain period of time, and that period of time varies, varies on the speed, varies with the carrier, varies on a number of things, if the train does not receive an input it
will sound an alert. if the engineer does not respond, the train will come to a stop. what we said on the first day we got here was the train was placed into engineer-induced braking. which means that the engineer placed the train into emergency braking. that was an engineer. i want to thank you for your time. questioner: can you explain the septa train in relation to -- [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> so this was really cultural tourism, and when they set up their villages along the way the early ones, sometimes only
lien twos, the buses would stop. here was a tourist attraction. seminoles camping by the road. when they came into the tourist attractions, they were getting food. a weekly allotment of food, and they were also getting sewing machines. >> they would also sometimes get fabric it behooved the tourist attraction people to supply them with fabric to they were sitting thrn and sowing things. this was a boy's shirt there the 1920's. this was an experimental time for patchwork. you can see on the bottom, this is not a design that mass made it down today. the designser bigger in the 20's, and sometimes they weren't used any longer than that particular decade. >> the thing about the bermuda
triangle, all kinds of things have happened. it was a regular training mission. they would take off from the base. flight 19's would go east toward the maholms. there is an area calls check and controls, and they would drop bombs on that. they would continue on another 70 miles or so, turn north, go 100 and something miles and make a turn west back towards fort lauderdale. they never returned. they sent out big rescue planes looking for them, and one of them disappeared with 13 men aboard. the next day they started a five-day search and they never found anything. >> watch all of our events from fort lauderdale saturday at 5:30 eastern and sunday afternoon at 2:00 on c-span-3.
parade rest. >> phil liggett from the top of the national launch will now deliver the invocation. phil: our heavenly father together on the capitol grounds of this great nation. we call upon you as we join our hearts and minds together in prayer, that you bring comfort and peace of those among us that morning. that you cover our active officers across the country in your protection. as we remember the officers who died in the line of duty since our last service, with renewed strength that they shall mount up with wings like eagles. they shall run and not be weary. they shall walk. this in your holy name we pray, amen.
>> you may be seated. special thank you to the officer for the beautiful rendition of our national anthem. [applause] my name is chuck canterbury. it is my honor and privilege to welcome all of you, my fellow officers come our distinguished guests, and most especially our surviving family members. the service is dedicated to the memory of your loved ones. and the service is for you. i like to begin this morning by introducing our guests for this solemn event. beginning on my right please welcome frank larkin, the senate sergeant at arms. [applause] next to him is craig lloyd
chairman of the national law enforcement officers memorial fund. [applause] and our dear friend, resident of the concern the survivors madalyn newman. next, we have eric church, country music star who will perform a musical tribute later in the program. thank you. and next to him, is the host of the united states capitol police. i would also like to take this time to thank the united states capitol police for their undying support of this memorial and all of the work that is done year-round by members of the capitol police to put the service on. as well as the border patrol. thank you very much. [applause] we are very pleased to welcome the chief legal and corporate services officer, one of our most generous corporate partners
and longest-serving partners to this memorial service. thank you. [applause] it is a great honor for me to welcome one of the most stalwart champions, senator patrick leahy of vermont, ranking member of the senate judiciary committee. senator, we appreciate you for being here and all the years that you have attended. and also for your leadership and support in getting the blue alert and body armor bills through the senate. thank you, sir. we are very fortunate to have with us a senior member of the judiciary committee and the president pro tem , senator orrin hatch. thank you for being here. i want to take a personal note to thank you for your leadership on a pending law enforcement retirement bill that is expected to pass later today. thank you so much. [applause]
next to senator hatch, is linda henning, national president of the f.o.b. auxiliary. we welcome you to the service but we want you to know that they do all of the background for this work and setting of the service. now turning to my far left, i would like to welcome paul irving, the sergeant at arms for the house of representatives. [applause] next, i like to welcome one of our d ear friends michelle leonhardt. i would like to congratulate you for your 36 years of service, and congratulate you on your retirement and let you know she is a proud member of baltimore lodge 3 fraternal order of police.
we welcome homeland security secretary jeh johnson who has attended services in the past. we are also pleased to have the deputy secretary for homeland security. welcome. we are also pleased to have with us deputy attorney general sally -- confirmed just this week. thank you for being here. we also welcome our new u.s. attorney general, loretta lynch here with us today. thank you and welcome. finally, it is my honor and privilege to have with us today president barack obama.
i will fully introduce him in a few moments. [applause] on behalf of the national fraternal order of police and the national fraternal police order auxiliary, it is my welcome to -- it is my honor to welcome you to the service. we contine to honor brothers and sisters have given their also we continue to live in peace and the greatest country in the world here at 100 years ago this week. two members of the pittsburgh police department decided to come together to form an organization for the stated purpose of working to increase benefits, salary and working conditions for law enforcement. that goal is still our stated purpose. we wanted a special day every year to honor those who lost their lives in the performance
of their duties. may 15 was designated as that day in 1962 president john f kennedy. in 1982, we began hosting the service as a proper way to honor our heroes. this day is for america to tell family members that we honor respect, and grieve for your loss. that we are not dedicated to any other purpose and make sure your sacrifice will not be forgotten. when we began the service, the word impossible was used to describe the task of making this a national event. the fear was that local officers and local associations would be the only ones to attend the service. well impossible is just a word that is used to stop you from trying. we did not stop trying. and from that first year, where
125 people attended, to today where we have over 20,000 people in attendance, it has been a long journey. but i journey filled with memories and spin experiences that none of us will ever forget. that is what makes law enforcement community a bond that lasts a lifetime. we understand it is not a job but a way of life that falls to the family and extended family. you sacrificed them to allow them to do their job. and we thank you for that. in these times, when there are no shortage of people who are negative about our profession, it would be easy to forget that most americans still respect the jobs we do. and they overwhelmingly know that law enforcement and other public safety professionals are a much-needed and first-class line of defense. we as professionals must continue to strive to provide
the best service to our communities. and we must never allow naysayers to deter us from our appointed duties. true professionals soar in the face of disperse thadversity. true professionals, we honor them here today. they gave themselves that others could go and live on. they gave of themselves that others can be with their families. they gave so that others can enjoy the pursuit of happiness. and they gave of themselves because it was their job. it is time for all americans to stand up and tell the world that we honor the work that our heroes have done and that they honor the memory of these law enforcement professionals. and this place, where so many have been honored including our great military, our elected
leaders and now these heroes, we must always room for their sacrifice. we must honor their memories by continuing to provide polity law enforcement. we cannot let anyone take away from their achievements and sacrifices. today, i call on this nation to recognize the men and women who wear a badge or a star and go out on the streets in this country to put their safety on the line. i call on elected leaders to provide them with the necessary tools and resources to perform the duty and support. we are not asking for the moon. we are asking for the respect and admiration that law enforcement professionals deserve. our commitment to you, we will never forget your memories. and will never let this country forget the sacrifices that they have done. god bless you. god bless our officers working
the streets of america. god bless our military, and god bless this country. thank you very much. [applause] it is now my honor to introduce the president of the national f.o.p. linda henry for some remarks. [applause] linda: mr. president, members of congress, brothers and sisters of law enforcement, families and friends of our fallen heroes welcome to the 34th annual national peace officers memorial service. in 1962, congress authorized resident john f kennedy to proclaim this the day to honor the great law enforcement officers who proudly wore the uniform, who daily serve the
communities in which they live and work, and who ultimately made the supreme sacrifice in the performance of their duties. the proclamation further designated the calendar week in which may 15 falls each year as police week. and recognition of the service given by the men and women of law enforcement who stand guard day and night to protect the citizens of our community. the proclamation was signed october 1, 1962. 20 years later on may 15 1982, the first national peace officers memorial service was held in senate park -- honoring 91 law enforcement officers around the country. who had given their lives in duty. they gather that day to honor the memory of their loved ones. today, we honor 131 officers as their families, friends, and
coworkers gather in this place to celebrate the memory of the lives that were taken in an instant while serving and protecting the citizens of our great nation. while we hailed them as heroes, and see them as larger-than-life, each of these officers would want to be remembered as community servants just doing their job. they would much rather be remembered as jill and pat's son or daughter, bobby and jenny's dad rather than immortalized as hero. these officers did not live for the honors they pay. their happiness was simply in doing their job, serving and protecting the public on a daily basis. and while we honor them as heroes, we remember them for the persons they were. death leaves a heartache no one can feel. but love is remembering that no
one can steal the sacrifice of the officers. your family will not be forgotten. their devotion to you in the profession will be carried on by the brotherhood and sisterhood of law enforcement. you need only observe the sea of uniforms here today to be assured that you never walk alone. these 131 brave men and women gave their all. they made the ultimate sacrifice and laid down their lives to protect and serve the families, friends, coworkers and public here today to honor them. may god bless the families they leave behind. may god watch over law enforcement officers who serve this great nation. and may god bless the united states of america. thank you. [applause]
♪ they do it every day ♪ ♪ tonight, i pray ♪ ♪ as i lay my worries down ♪ ♪ still standing ground. ♪ ♪ i would like to think that i have the kind of courage ♪ ♪ to speak the name of god where he was banned ♪ ♪ to be the kind of guy to stay by her side ♪ ♪ a lot of other guys would've left ♪ ♪ but there are those that do it every day ♪ ♪ there are those for tomorrow ♪
♪ every night i pray as i lay my worries away ♪ ♪ lord watch over those still standing ground ♪ ♪ i make my living with his old guitar ♪ ♪ i stand on the stage and i wore out my heart ♪ ♪ it might not be much in the scheme of things ♪ ♪ but i might save a life with the songs icing ♪ sing ♪ ♪ they do it every day ♪ ♪ and there are those for tomorrow ♪ ♪ this song is not much ♪ ♪ but it is the best way i know
how ♪ ♪ for standing up for those still standing their ground ♪ [applause] >> thank you, mr. church. for the wonderful performance of "standing your ground." is a pleasure to have you with us here today, sir. [applause] i am honored to welcome and introduce the keynote speaker for our 34th annual national peace officers morrill service. barack obama is the president of
the united states. president obama has been with us in past years, and it is a privilege and honor to have him again to honor the families of our fallen heroes. this day is the family's chance to offer condolences to you. our hope is that our nation will stand up for law enforcement and be thankful we have kept them safe. brothers sisters, our distinguished guests, please help me in welcoming the president of the united states -- president barack obama, who will express our nation's condolences. thank you so much, sir. [applause] president barack obama: thank you so much. please be seated. thank you, chuck.
for that kind introduction. for your years of proud service not only as a police officer but all of the advocacy you do on behalf of the families. i want to thank the fraternal order of police and its leadership, including jim pascoe and linda henney for everything you do to support those who protect and serve. let me also say, as we gather here today, our prayers remain with the families of our marines and two nepalese soldiers, now that the wreckage of their helicopter has been found in a remote part of nepal. they went to that remote land to help people who suffered devastating losses and the terrible earthquake. they represent a truth that guides our work around the world.
when our friends are in need america helps. sometimes those in uniform get attention only when there is a battle. but they do so much more than that, looking out for folks who are vulnerable. or having a tough time experiencing disaster. and it can involve great risk, great sacrifice, and we give thanks to all our fellow americans -- military and civilian, who reflect the very best of american leadership around the world. the world is better for them. we are here to honor heroes who lost their lives in the line of duty. the men and women who put themselves in the way of danger so that the rest of us can live in safety. they were beat cops, deputies, detectives correctional and
foreign service officers, federal agents, and tribal police. but too many here today, they went by different titles. caring husband, loving wife, my son, my daughter, mom, dad. the families who are here today whose loved ones did not come home at the end of a shift please know how deeply sorry we are for the loss you have endured. know how deeply grateful we are for your loved ones sacrifice. we hold them up as heroes because that is what they are. it takes a special kind of courage to be a peace officer.
to be the one people turn to innermost desperate moments. to be willing to run into a dangerous situation when everyone else is running the other way. the scripture tells us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. but only a special view take the commandment so deeply to heart that they are willing to risk their lives so that others, often total strangers, can no peace and security. and that is what piece officers do. -- peace officers do. and we honor 131 who made that sacrifice. officer kevin gordon was a member of the police department in griffin, georgia. father of seven children, army veteran, is daughter debra said
we were his platoon. kevin deployed his own training to raise his young tune. platoon. how motivated are you? they are motivated, highly motivated. [applause] we drove them with the basics to study hard and pushed your selves and take care of each other. and everywhere he went, he made friends. in tammy's words, he never met a stranger. to help make ends meet, kevin took a night shift as a security guard at a waffle house. one night, customers got rowdy and is kevin was placing one troublemaker under arrest, he
was shot and killed. he was just 43 years old. one week later kevin's son graduated from griffin high. today, his son is in the army training to be an mp and wants to be in law enforcement just like his dad. senior deputy jessica hollis started out as an emt in san antonio, texas. she and her husband ricky applied to the police academy together, and graduated together. just the second married couple to do that in austin. jessica eventually joined the county sheriff's office where he became a senior deputy and member of the prestigious dive
team. she was a fierce animal lover. if you drove by a turtle trying to cross the road, she would slam on the brakes and gently carry him to the other side. she took her son mason, on special vacation. the family lake house in new orleans on diving trips just the two of them. last september, after heavy rains, jessica went out to check for civilians trapped in rising water. it was around 2:00 in the morning. her car was being swept away by the flood water. minutes later, she was missing. dozens of officers came to join the search, but by the time they found her, it was too late. more than 1000 people attended her funeral. and major tragedyvis county
made sure to tell all of his officers that he never had a chance to save them. i would do anything for you. officer roberto sanchez;'s parent brought in you is just what tro years old. it was the first trip on an airplane and that airplane is what brought him to america. he began to collect model airplanes. he took his high school sweetheart on a plane. he always had one big dream to be a police officer. when he joined the lapd, friends say he was so happy. he lived within walking distance of his barracks. he volunteered at the school where his niece teaches kindergarten and he married sonja, his high school sweetheart. one night, officer sanchez was a
pursuit of a speeding vehicle when someone intentionally crashed into his patrol car. he was the third lapd officer killed in just two months. your jobs are inherently dangerous. the reminders are two common. just a few days ago, two police officers were killed in the line of duty in mississippi. a week before that, an officer was killed in the line of duty in queens. a few months before that, two of his officers in the nypd were killed, as well. we cannot erase every darkness or danger from the duty you have chosen. we can offer you the support you need to be safe. we can make the communities you care about and protect safer, as well. we can make sure you have the
resources you need to do your job. we can do everything we have to do to combat the poverty that plagues too many communities in which you have to serve. we can work harder as a nation to heal the risk that still exists in some places between law enforcement and the people you risk your lives to protect. we go into all of you who wear the badge with honor. and we know it to your fellow officers who give their last full measure of devotion. most of all, we can say thank you. we can say we appreciate you and we are grateful for the work that you do each and every day. and we can thank the families who bear the burden alongside
you. on behalf of the american people i offer the families, friends, and fellow officers of those we have lost my prayers and my deepest thanks. we could not be prouder of them more grateful for their service. we could not be prouder of you and all who worked so hard to keep us safe. may god bless you, may comfort the mourning, may he protect the peacemakers, and may he bless the united states of america. [applause]
, but it all went by so fast. always knew that this could happen, never dreamed i'd take a fall and i know now -- is over, are you supposed to take that call? don't waste your tears on me, the sacrifice i made that night was my responsibility you can't afford to question why, just stand together side by