May 16, 2019
WASHINGTON – As part of National Police Week, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) spoke on the Senate floor today to honor fallen Missouri law enforcement officers. Blunt also discussed his efforts to help ensure law enforcement officers have the support, training, and equipment they need to do their jobs.
Following Are Excerpts From Blunt’s Remarks:
“Mr. President, I’ve come to the floor today to be joined soon by my colleague and co-chair of the Senate Law Enforcement Caucus, Senator Coons, to honor the men and women that work for us every day, that help protect us every day during Police Week. This is an annual event, it brings law enforcement officers to Washington from around the country, of course, including my state of Missouri. …
“Really when Senator Coons and I came to the Senate, a little over eight years ago, we started trying to find a law enforcement caucus to join, and find out there wasn’t one. So Senator Coons said to me ‘let’s just start one,’ and we did. And this is the week we get a chance every year to talk about specifically what happens this week. We look for opportunities through the year to one, honor the people who work here protecting us every day, and two, to talk about things happening in the country that affect people who protect us, police and sheriff's departments.
“This is a time of year, frankly, when the tragic loss of family is so evident as we add people to the Police Memorial. Four Missourians were added to that list this year.
“Deputy Sheriff Aaron Paul Roberts of the Greene County Sherriff’s Office, the county I live in, died when his patrol car was swept into the Pomme de Terre River after he responded to a 911 call. Deputy Roberts had served with the sheriff's office for a year, but he’d previously been in the Willard Police Department for four years. He is survived by his wife, by his daughter, by his parents.
“In April of 2018, Miller County Deputy Sheriff Casey Shoemate was killed when his vehicle collided with an oncoming vehicle while responding to a structure fire. He’d served in that department for about a year as well, but he previously worked in two other Missouri police departments. And he’s survived by his two children, his fiancée, his parents, and his siblings.
“In March of 2018, Clinton Police Department Officer Chris Morton was shot and killed when he and two other officers responded to a 911 call. As Officer Morton and his colleagues arrived at the scene, a man began shooting at them. The officers returned fire, they entered the building, the subject continued firing, he fatally wounded Officer Morton and injured two of Officer Morton’s colleagues that I had a chance to visit with at that department not long after this incident. Officer Morton had been with the Clinton Police Department for three years. Prior to doing that, he served in the U.S. military through the Missouri Army National Guard. He’d been deployed to Kosovo, he’d been deployed to Afghanistan. His parents and siblings I know worried about him there, but wouldn’t have, in their wildest imagination, thought that he would be killed at home, and near his hometown reacting to a 911 call from a house.
“In March of last year, FBI Special Agent Melissa Morrow of Kansas City died from a brain cancer that she’d developed following the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. She’d been assigned to the Evidence Response Team of the FBI Washington Field Office, had spent 10 weeks recovering after that event and processing evidence from the site in hazardous conditions. And Melissa is survived by her parents, her sister, a niece, and a nephew.
“The names of these fallen men and women were added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial here in Washington, and to the Wall of Honor at the Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial over the last months. They will be remembered by people who benefited from and remember their bravery, their dedication, and their sacrifice.”