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Press Release



Secretary Salazar Honors Interior Law Enforcement Officers at Wreath Laying Ceremony



05/14/2009


 Contact: Brian Tsai (202) 208-6416


WASHINGTON, DC Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar led a wreath-laying ceremony today at the headquarters of the U.S. Department of the Interior to honor 134 Department of the Interior law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty since the department’s founding in 1849.

“Today, we are thankful that it is has been more than three and half years since a Department of the Interior law enforcement office has been killed in the line of duty,” Secretary Salazar said.  “I attribute this to the dedication, training and discipline that our officers demonstrate when they put on their uniform each day.”

Present at the ceremony were family members of Kris Eggle, a National Park Service ranger killed in the line of duty at age 28 on August 9, 2002 at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.  Kris’s father, Bob Eggle, has worked to promote officer safety and calling attention to border violence issues.

Those on the remembrance list began with Captain Chin Chi Kee, the first Department of the Interior law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty.  He was shot and killed while apprehending whiskey smugglers in 1852.

The Secretary also honored law enforcement officers from other departments and agencies who gave up their lives on our nation’s public lands in the past year.

“As we honor those officers lost, we also honor the 3,321 full-time Department law-enforcement officers nationwide and the 2,000 tribal law enforcement officers.  You are all heroes,” said Secretary Salazar.

The Department has more than 3,000 sworn law enforcement officers who protect the public and Interior employees as part of the National Park Service, U.S. Park Police, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Reclamation. The ceremony of remembrance is held each year in Washington, D.C. during National Police Week.