Gov. Perry Addresses Police Officer Memorial Service
Corpus Christi Memorial Honors Fallen Officers Statewide
*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Thank you, Chief [Michael] Walsh. It is an honor to be here today, in the company of men and women whose lives are dedicated to the profession of law enforcement, and the families who tend the home fires as their loved ones patrol our neighborhoods, streets, and highways.
I stand here today, on behalf of 24 million Texans, to thank you for the risks you take every day to protect us. Danger is part of the job: you know it before you volunteer to serve. However, the reality of your responsibility is driven home when one of your own is tragically taken away from us.
Last year, Texas lost fifteen officers in the line of duty, and five more just this year. These losses affect us all, because we enjoy peace and safety as a result of their willingness to serve and protect.
Just two months ago, Lt. Stuart Alexander, a valuable member of the Corpus Christi Police Department, was struck down in the line of duty, standing on that thin blue line between the law-abiding, and those who would do us harm.
In making the ultimate sacrifice, Lt. Alexander left behind a loving family, friends who shared his passion for law enforcement, and a fellowship of officers who honor his memory today.
Vicky (Alexander, wife of Lt. Alexander), I know that no words can ease your pain, but I want you to know that you are surrounded by people who care about you, and blanketed with the prayers of a grateful community.
As you work through this difficult time, I would encourage you and Benjamin to reach out to those who understand your struggles, because they have walked this road themselves.
I encourage you to lean on people like Cyndi and Larry Thebeau who lost their son, Officer Matthew Thebeau, last year, and Rachel Saavedra, whose husband, James, died serving the Port of Corpus Christi the year before.
They understand what cannot be explained to someone outside the law enforcement community, the integrity that motivates someone to protect and serve.
Your grief reminds us that law enforcement is not just another job, but a higher calling that involves the entire family, that connects to a larger fellowship the world over, and deserves the undying respect of every person who enjoys the peace and safety that our law enforcement professionals provide.
Know that we are greatly saddened by your loss, deeply concerned for your welfare, and eternally grateful to those who defend us. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
The men and women who wear the uniform and those who love them are a beacon of light in a sometimes dark world.
To sustain America as a place of order, we need officers who will use intellect, compassion and, yes, force to prevent the tyranny of the lawless, and to preserve the freedom of the law-abiding.
Every day that you put on the badge, kiss your spouse and children goodbye, and walk out the door, you do so knowing that you might be called upon that day to step between good and the evil, often at the risk of great personal cost.
We are reminded of that fact each year as we commemorate lives cut too short in service to their communities and this state. Your bravery, sacrifice and service bless us beyond what mere words like "thank you" can convey.
Texas is strong because you make her safe.
As we gather here at the beginning of National Police Week, it is fitting to recognize and honor all who have chosen law enforcement as a career.
Know that, up in Austin, as this legislative session moves along, we are doing our best to provide you the resources you need to do your job.
Know that we are working to secure funding for our ongoing border security initiatives, and an all-out effort to combat the growing influence of drugs and transnational gangs across our state.
Texans do not hesitate to call your name when trouble arises, so we must not hesitate to equip you for that trouble, so that you are best able to keep the peace.
I am committed to putting more boots on the ground, more aviation assets in the sky, more boats in the water, and more prosecutors in the courtroom, so that your efforts bear more fruit, and our communities are that much safer.
Thank you for your service
thank you for your sacrifice. May God bless you and keep you
and, through you, may He continue to bless the great state of Texas.