Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

WASHINGTON, May 22 -

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Mr. Speaker, peace officers are the ones who diligently protect and serve the people. They are the first to respond to the call for help in time of trouble.

They go after the bad guys and provide us safe communities to live in.  Some take extra jobs to make ends meet.  They wear the badge of commitment over their heart. Sheriffsí departments in Texas wear a star over their heart.

Today, peace officers in Houston, Texas, have placed a black band across their badges in honor of one of the fallen among their number.  Sergeant Dwayne Polk, 47, of the Harris County Sheriffís Department, was killed about 3 a.m. Sunday morning.  He was headed home in his uniform after working a contract assignment.

Sergeant Polk grew up in Houston, Texas, with his three sisters and his two brothers.  His mother always encouraged him and the other kids to read the Bible.

He had worked for the sheriff for 16 years.  Sheriff Adrian Garcia said:

It was tough talking to his son, but he will have many big brothers in the sheriffís department.

As Sergeant Polk was driving home that Sunday morning, his pickup truck was struck by Andres Munos-Munos, who ran a red light, never slowed down, and crashed into Polk.  Polk was killed. Munos-Munos was drunk and had minor injuries.

Munos-Munos was charged with intoxication, manslaughter, and is in jail.  He had been convicted last year for drunk driving and unlawfully carrying a pistol.  He went to jail for 30 days for that offense.  News reports also say Munos-Munos was in the country illegally.

Last weekend, while Polk was being killed in Texas, Americaís families of peace officers killed in the line of duty last year were here in D.C.  Their fallen were honored by thousands of other officers from America on the west side of this Capitol.

Next year, about this time, Sergeant Dwayne Polk, of Harris County, Texas, and the sheriffís department will be remembered here as his name is read from the roll call of the dead.

Citizens should appreciate the service of officers like Sergeant Polk.  They do the work most of us would never do. They go into the worst places of our cities to root out evil that lives among us.  They sacrifice for us.  The least we can do is appreciate them for wearing the star or the badge over their heart, protecting the rest of us.

They are the only thing that stands between us and the lawless.  They are among the best we have.  So we mourn for the loss of Sergeant Polk, while thanking the good Lord such men as him ever lived.

And thatís just the way it is.