WASHINGTON – In recognition of National Police Week, U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) honored the service and sacrifice of our law enforcement community and reflected upon the lives of Arkansans whose names are newly added to the walls of the National Law Enforcement Memorial.
Four Arkansans are among the list of 360 members of law enforcement whose names have been added to the memorial:
Drew County Sheriff’s Deputy Timothy Braden
Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford of the Newport Police Department
Yell County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Mainhart
Turrell Police Chief Keith Bradford Sr.
The following are Senator Boozman’s remarks as prepared for delivery:
Mr. President, this is National Police Week. A time for recognizing the men and women in law enforcement who serve and protect our nation.
National Police Week is a solemn occasion to honor those who tragically lost their lives while serving in the line of duty.
The names of those men and women are carved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Memorial.
Each year during this week, families and colleagues of the fallen travel to our nation’s capital for this special commemoration.
This year 360 names will be added including four officers who served the citizens of Arkansas.
We remember Arkansans whose names are newly etched onto the walls of this treasured memorial. Now, I would like to recognize these heroes.
Drew County Sheriff’s Deputy Timothy Braden gave his life while serving and protecting the citizens of Arkansas. Deputy Braden unfortunately passed away in a car crash after attempting to stop a vehicle whose driver refused to stop; leading him on a high-speed chase.
Deputy Braden had recently joined the Drew County Sheriff’s Office after serving three years at the McGehee Police Department.
His commitment to enforcing the law, helping those in need and protecting the community touched the lives of those he served with. They will remember him as a kind and hardworking officer who performed his job with a positive attitude.
Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford of the Newport Police Department responded to a call of a vehicle break-in when he was fatally shot.
He proudly served in law enforcement for 15 years. Throughout his time in uniform, he continued to pursue opportunities to better serve the community.
He was a 2016 graduate of the FBI National Academy and was working toward a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
I would also like to honor the dedication and service of Kevin Mainhart, a Yell County Sheriff’s Deputy. He was responding to a domestic disturbance call and initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle connected to the situation when he was fatally shot.
Mainhart spent more than 20 years serving and protecting Arkansas communities in law enforcement and was a veteran of the Air Force.
The selfless service of Keith Bradford Sr., Turrell Police Chief is also worthy of recognition.
The chief is one of 231 members of the law enforcement community who died in a previous year, but whose sacrifice will be documented on the memorial this year.
Chief Bradford helped launch the law enforcement agency in 2012. In 2014 he responded to a call to assist officers from another local jurisdiction with a high-speed chase.
He checked the safety of the officers, but according to a police report, Bradford was left shaken. Hours later, he suffered a fatal heart attack. Chief Bradford had dedicated more than 20 years of his life to law enforcement.
Each of these officers demonstrated courage and determination in the face of danger.
These heroes, like all members of the law enforcement community, commit their lives to protecting the public. In their profession there is no such thing as an off-duty officer. Answering a call for help is ingrained in who they are.
As a member of the Senate Law Enforcement Caucus, I am committed to providing our first responders with the tools, resources and training to help them prepare for unpredictable circumstances.
These men and women are brave and selfless heroes who risk their lives every day to keep our communities safe.
This Congress I was proud to cosponsor the Honoring Hometown Heroes Act to give their home states the opportunity to provide a fitting tribute for their service should they make the ultimate sacrifice. This bill would allow governors to order the American flag to fly at half-staff in recognition of first responders who are killed in the line of duty.
Those who are called to serve and protect have earned this honor.
I’m pleased it was included as a provision in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 that was signed into law earlier this year. We can all agree that these courageous first responders deserve this powerful acknowledgment in recognition of their sacrifice.
On behalf of all Arkansans, I thank law enforcement officers at the local, state and federal levels for all they do to keep us safe. We appreciate your dedication and the heroism you display each and every day. Thank you for doing whatever it takes to protect and serve your families, neighbors and fellow citizens.