******* Press Release ********
On behalf of the officers of the U.S. Park Police, I want to express our deepest and sincere condolences to the families of the Navy Yard shooting victims and our hope for a quick recovery for those injured in this horrific act of human depravity.
On Monday, September 16, law enforcement officers from many agencies all across the District of Columbia came together to neutralize a threat against the public. U.S. Park Police, DC Metropolitan Police, Naval District Washington Police, FBI, ATFE, DEA, U.S. Marshals and others responded to the call of an active shooter. These officers and agents went in while the members of the public ran to safety. This was their job. They did it and they did it well.
A United States Park Police patrol officer teamed up with an officer from the Metropolitan Police to form an active shooter team. They went in, addressed the threat and neutralized him. While this sounds very clear cut and concise, it was far from it. These two officers, in the face of gunfire, stepped up and acted with heroism and courage. They and the other first responders who went to the sound of gunshots on Monday are heroes. While there was a terrible loss of life, countless others were saved through the heroic acts of these selfless officers who put the public before their own safety.
Additionally, the Officers of the U.S. Park Police were able to meet this threat due to the agency’s Patrol Rifle program which puts rifles in the hands of Patrol Officers so that they are adequately equipped to neutralize an active shooter. Recently the Office of the Inspector General published a report asking, among other things, why the U.S. Park Police has rifles in its firearms inventory. The events of Monday, more clearly than anything, answers that question.
While officers of various agencies rushed in to protect lives, the U.S. Park Police Aviation Unit responded, in the highest tradition of its forty year history, to medevac patients, rescue victims trapped on rooftops and to insert SWAT members to assist in the overall operation. All the while, providing air support and an air based sniper, if needed. The F.O.P. has been trying to secure funding for a new aircraft to replace the 23 year old aircraft the Unit currently has. In these times of financial hardship, it is imperative to recognize the utility and lifesaving ability of this unit and we are hopeful that the funding can be found to replace the older of the two, primary, helicopters the Unit has
In Fiscal Year 2014, the U.S. Park Police and other Federal law enforcement agencies are facing more cuts through sequestration and the F.O.P. is hopeful that a greater priority will be given to our first responders as they continue to serve, doing their difficult jobs with integrity and dedication to serving the American people.
UNITED STATES PARK POLICE
FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE
1320 G ST SE Washington, DC 20003