Thursday May 17 2012 9:50 AM
A message from Sheriff Paul Pastor:
"Last night, along with about 50,000 other people, I attended the Candlelight Vigil and Posting of Names at National Law Enforcement Memorial ceremony in Washington D.C. I was there with other members of the Department and with the family of our Deputy Shandon Wright. Deputy Wright's name was placed on the National Memorial wall after his line of duty death last year.
"The recent increase in line of duty deaths, and especially deaths due to attacks on officers, is a growing concern and was evident in the posting of names last night.
"Perhaps we are more attuned to such occurrences in Pierce County because of our own many law enforcement losses and because of the presence of Joint Base Lewis McChord. We are regularly reminded of the losses suffered by those serving in the military. And we mourn those losses.
"The difference is that the loss of law enforcement officers from hostile action does not occur in a war zone. These attacks and these losses occur in our nearby National Park, on our local highways, in our neighborhoods, in our backyards.
"Why have our losses increased? Hard to say exactly but it is certainly related to cuts in mental health spending, cuts to post-release corrections supervision, cuts in law enforcement staffing and a mood of anger and hopelessness among many people.
"These losses are hard on everyone: on communities, on co-workers and especially on families. The ceremony last night included thousands of family members remembering their personal loss.
"Tens of thousands of people gathered last night in Washington, D.C. and stood silently with lighted candles in order to render honor and to remember those they have lost. They gathered to remember and seek to make themselves whole. And, in doing so, they affirmed that our law enforcement officers will continue to do the difficult and complex and increasingly dangerous job they have chosen to do."
President Obama also spoke at the memorial. This CNN video of the President's speech shows Pierce County Corrections Deputy John Lyon standing directly behind the Commander in Chief.