From fighting drug and human trafficking at our borders to supervising some of the world’s most violent criminals in our prisons, federal law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to ensure the safety of our communities.
You probably don’t come in regular contact with many of these officers – the Border Patrol agents guarding our borders, the Bureau of Prisons correctional officers supervising our federal prisons, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents fighting drug and human trafficking, the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency officers who monitor individuals on probation, parole, and supervised release in the District of Columbia. They are the men and women who make this country a safe and enjoyable place to live.
But if you’ve ever visited a federal agency or military facility, a VA hospital, or the National Zoo in our nation’s capital, you may have seen uniformed officers guarding the entrances or patrolling the grounds. They work for the Department of Defense Civilian Police, the Veterans Affairs Police, the Federal Protective Service, the Capitol Police, the Marshal’s Service, and the National Zoological Park Police. It’s their job to protect workers and visitors at thousands of federal facilities across the country.
And if you’ve flown in the past 13 years, then you’ve probably come in contact with the 45,000 Transportation Security Officers who screen passengers and baggage for contraband items and ensure terrorists and other people who pose a threat to aviation are not allowed to board our airplanes. While they are not sworn law enforcement officers, our TSOs protect the safety of the traveling public –sometimes at great personal risk.
AFGE is proud to represent tens of thousands of law enforcement and public safety officers at all of these agencies. Each of them swore an oath to protect and serve their country. Many of our officers have died in the line of duty, paying the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe. Men like Osvaldo Albarati, Eric Williams, Jose Rivera, Gerardo Hernandez, and many others upheld their oath until their last breath.
As officers gather in Washington this week for National Police Week, AFGE extends our gratitude and appreciation to everyone who puts on the uniform to fight for our safety and protection. We also honor them memory of those we've lost, and reaffirm our commitment to do what is necessary to make sure we never lose another officer.