I rise with my colleagues today in recognition of Police Week. I want to thank Senator Blunt and Senator Coons for bringing us together, as well as Senator Grassley and Cornyn. Law enforcement officers play a critical role in keeping our communities safe, and Police Week is all about honoring their dedication and sacrifice. And sadly, for so many families, those officers that made the ultimate sacrifice. Our officers are on the front lines of public safety. And while most people run away from crime or run away from disaster, they run bravely toward it.
In my state, we were reminded all too well of the courageous dedication of law enforcement just this last year when Jason Faulkner, an off-duty police officer just at a shopping mall, spending his free time on his own, encountered a horrific scene of a man unhinged who was stabbing people in the St. Cloud shopping mall. Faulkner didn't even pause. He made sure that he saved the people that were wounded--ten wounded that day. So many would have been killed if he had not intervened. An off-duty officer.
Or I think about Officer Sean Snyder who is no longer with us, in Lake City, Minnesota. I met with his family several times. This was a brave officer, a popular officer in a small community. And one night he was called to the scene of a domestic abuse case. A young woman scared, calling. He shows up at the door. And a man unhinged opens the door and shoots and kills that officer.
The story behind that officer and the pople behind that officer are the ones that carry on his memory. His fellow officers like we see this week at Police Week and his family, his widow, and his three children. I will never forget sitting in the pew of that church as his three kids walked down the aisle. The story was that the last tiem the family had been in that church and the last time that those children had been in that church was for the church nativity play. And thier day, Officer Snyder, was sitting there watching them with such pride. And a few weeks later, there they were at his funderal.
Those are the people that we remember during this important week. And our job as U.S. senators is to treat them in the way that they treat their jobs. They go to their work every day without fear or favor. That's what we have to do when we think about police officers.
There are issues, as Senator Coons mentioned, that we need to work on. Policies and the relationship between officers and our communities. We have to promote more community policing, more training, more recruiting. And what's why I'm very positive about these bills, the COPS bill that I have with Senator Murkowski, where we finally have a bipartisan sponsorship for grants that have now helped to place approximately 129,000 police officers on the beat in more than 13,000 state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.
The community I mentioned, St. Cloud, they are the recipient of some of the grants that we're talking about here. That's why Senator Murkowski and I are taking on this issue to make sure this program continues to be funded and that in fact, we should reinforce the program.
Or the bill Senator Cornyn just mentioned that we are leading together to promote the hiring of veterans as law enforcement officers. This bill would encourage local police departments to hire and train veterans as cops while providing our veterans with the opportunity to continue to serve their communities.
Yes, we can do all we can to have the backs of our officers and to work with them and our communities. But what we're doing this week is comething a little different. We honor them. We recognize their sacrifices. And whether it is taking dangerous criminals off the street, whether it is preventing extremist groups from recruiting people in our neighborhoods, whether it is fighting the opioid abuse epidemic. Whether it is simply giving a kid a second chance. And they do those kind of kind things all the time. Law enforcement officers are doing some of the hardest and most important work out there. We ow our saftey to them, and we thank them for their remarkable service. Thank you.