Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement recognizing National Peace Officers Memorial Day:

“On National Peace Officers Memorial Day, we take time to honor the sacrifice of law enforcement officers who gave their lives protecting the safety of their fellow Americans.

“Today, I am reminded of four members of the Lakewood Police Department who were brutally murdered at the hands of killer set on targeting law enforcement. Each of the fallen, Sgt. Mark Renninger, Officer Ronald Owens, Officer Tina Griswold, and Officer Gregory Richards, was a parent, a spouse, a friend, and a trusted colleague in the police force. The attack on these officers has had ripple effects for the families who miss their loved ones, and the community whose sense of safety is now diminished.

“It is alarming that 2011 has already seen a 20 percent increase in fatalities over the prior year, including 33 officers killed by gunfire since January 1st.

“Brave men and women risk their lives every day by putting on the uniform and badge. Please take a moment to remember our nation’s law enforcement officers whose extraordinary service and sacrifice has made us safer and protected our way of life.”