Mr. Speaker, our men and women in blue are the best we have. They are the thin blue line between good and evil. Each day these men and women head out into the field not knowing what they will face, not knowing if their day will be filled with routine traffic stops, or extreme dangers.
Our peace officers face the unknown and stand up for the rest of us. Reginald ‘‘Jake’’ Gutierrez was one of these men. Gutierrez was responding to a domestic violence call in Tacoma, Washington after a woman approached animal control officers claiming her husband had locked her out of the house and taken her cell phone.
Gutierrez and his partner entered the home. Shots rang out as he proceeded up the stairs to speak with the suspect. Two young children were held hostage inside the house, being used as human shields. His partner returned fire, taking the wife to safety.
Gutierrez was shot multiple times, his life taken away by a vicious criminal. Gutierrez gave his life to protect the young and innocent. As a veteran of the Department since 1999, 45-year-old Gutierrez was a model police officer.
Each day he got up, put on the uniform and badge and dedicated himself to his profession and community. He is now the 132nd officer to die in the line of duty this year alone.
At least eight of these deaths occurred while responding to reports of domestic disturbance and violence. Hundreds of individuals came to honor Gutierrez as he made his way from the hospital to the medical examiner’s office. The hospital was surrounded by fellow officers standing in support of their fallen brother.
The King County Sheriff’s Department ordered all Deputies to wear mourning bands in honor of the fallen peace officer. The needless murder of our officers is absolutely unacceptable. These men and women work tirelessly, day in and day out trying to make a difference.
It is time to put an end to the needless murder of our peace officers. Congress must stand up for those who work to protect the rest of us. The men and women behind the badge are some of America’s best. Officer Reginald ‘‘Jake’’ Gutierrez’s life may be gone, but his memory serves as a reminder of all those who gave their lives for the thin blue line.
And that’s just the way it is.