Biden Says It Is Harder Than Ever to be a Cop in America
02:53 GMT 17.10.2021 (Updated: 13:25 GMT 06.08.2022)
The 40th annual 'National Peace Officers' Memorial Service at the US Capitol building honored law enforcement officers who lost their lives in 2019 and 2020. US President Joe Biden and the first lady, Dr. Jill Biden, were among the attendees at the Saturday event in Washington, DC.
US President Joe Biden on Saturday proclaimed that law enforcement officials in the US are faced with a number of modern-day expectations that have made their line of work more difficult than it has has ever been.
"We expect everything of you, and it's beyond the capacity of anyone to meet the total expectations. Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been," the US president said to members of law enforcement and other attendees of the 40th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service.
Biden emphasized that to account for high expectations, cops in the US must be properly equipped with "resources", such as community policing.
The US president also highlighted that investment into community-based programs should be viewed as assisting law enforcement.
"To support our law enforcement officers requires that we invest in systems that provide adequate health care, counseling, drug prevention, housing, education and other social services in the community, so there is not the discord," he said, noting that 2020 was the deadliest year for law enforcement.
Biden's Saturday remarks come alongside the publication of data showing that at least 476 officers have died from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. Per the Officer Down Memorial Page, the number of COVID-19-related deaths, dwarfs the 97 gunfire deaths logged for the same period.
Additionally, police forces across the country appear to be struggling to get officers vaccinated.
In Chicago, rank-in-file police officers in the city were given until midnight on Thursday to disclose their vaccine status or be placed on unpaid leave. Some officers, including Chicago Police Union President John Catanzara, have complained that the move is an overreach by the city.
Catanzara argued that "Chicago will have a police force at 50% or less" if the city's vaccination order is followed by officers. A judge has since slapped the police union president with a restraining order that barred him from making similar statements. It will take days for the results to come back.
Speaking in front of the US Capitol building on Saturday, Biden recounted how US Capitol Police and other authorities responded to the January 6 storming of the government building.
The US president referred to the incident as an "unconstitutional and fundamentally un-American attack on our nation's values and our votes."