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Nomination of Roy K.J. Williams to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, as I think my colleagues know, this is National Police Week. I know I express the sentiment of every Member of this body who wishes to show their appreciation for the 900,000 Federal, State, and local law enforcement officers who literally put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. We cannot thank them enough, but we can help them by our actions. In 2013 there were 105 who lost their lives in the line of duty, so obviously this is a matter that requires the attention of the Senate.

Let me cite the most recent casualty in the State of Maryland. On August 28, 2013, Baltimore County police officer Jason Schneider, who was only 36 years of age, was shot and killed while serving a search warrant at a home on Roberts Avenue in Catonsville at approximately 5 o'clock in the morning. Officer Schneider was part of a tactical team that had entered the house in search of a juvenile subject wanted in relation to a shooting of the previous week. The entry team encountered four subjects inside the house who attempted to flee. Officer Schneider was pursuing a subject toward the rear of the house when another subject attacked him and opened fire, striking him several times. Despite being mortally wounded, Officer Schneider returned fire and killed the subject. Officer Schneider is survived by his wife and two children.

Unfortunately, that story was told 105 other times in 2013 with law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

I have introduced legislation--S. 357--which provides for a national blue alert. I think most Members are familiar with AMBER alerts. It means the rapid dissemination of information to help law enforcement. Well, a blue alert would deal with an officer who has been assaulted, attacked, or killed.

Law enforcement will tell us rapid dissemination is the most important part of law enforcement. So it is critically important that information be made available.

This is a bipartisan bill. I originally filed the bill with Senator Graham, and I appreciate his help.

Senator Leahy has been a real champion. As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I can't thank him enough for his help with this legislation and the work he has done on behalf of law enforcement.

Senator McConnell today in his leader time discussed that this week is National Police Week and mentioned he is a cosponsor of the legislation I am referring to and urged that this is the type of bill we need to pass.

Senator Blunt is on the floor. I thank him very much. He has been a real leader in regards to law enforcement issues and Blue Alert.

This bill passed with 406 votes in the House of Representatives. It is a bill which provides for smart ways to help law enforcement. It is endorsed and supported by a whole host of groups, including the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of Police Organizations, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the Concerns of Police Survivors, and the Sergeants Benevolent Association of the New York Police Department. The list goes on and on. So we are looking for a way we can not only express our appreciation to those in law enforcement but we can tangibly do something to help.

Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent as if in legislative session the Senate proceed to Calendar No. 194, S. 357, the National Blue Alert Act; that the bill be read a third time and passed; and the motion to reconsider be laid upon table, with no intervening action or debate.


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