Dallas Lawmaker Wants To Proclaim July 7 ‘Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Day’

UPDATED | February 9, 2017 5:15 PM

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AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) –   To regularly remember and honor the lives of fallen law enforcement officers, Senator Don Huffines (R-Dallas) filed Senate Bill 798, which would name July 7 as Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Day and call for ceremonies to “honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to the rule of law and liberty.”

All 31 state Senators have jointly authored Senate Bill 798.

Four Dallas Police officers and one DART officer were shot and killed during an ambush on July 7, 2016 while they were protecting crowds protesting police violence around the country.

Police in Dallas work near the scene where 12 officers were shot and five died on July 8, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. (credit: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Police in Dallas work near the scene where 12 officers were shot and five died on July 7, 2016. (credit: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

“The men and women of Texas law enforcement are the best in the nation, and even the world. When one of our public servants doesn’t make it home to his or her family, we owe them a perpetual debt of gratitude and remembrance. By pausing for a statewide remembrance each year on July 7, we will give our fallen law enforcement officers the prayerful respect and dignity that they so deserve,”  Sen. Huffines said.

Senator Huffines’ office said the Senator felt obligated to work to make the public discourse on law enforcement and public service one that is much more positive.

“Law enforcement officers have an exceedingly difficult job. They work to keep the peace, uphold the rule of law, and serve in defense of our liberty. They must not be targeted, and they must not be subject to violence. Ever. Period. End of story. The men and women of law enforcement are our friends, our neighbors, and our community leaders. When a law enforcement officer loses her life, Texas will have her back,” said Sen. Huffines.

In addition to the Dallas police murders, Sen. Huffines’ office said SB 798 is inspired by two other recent events.

In 2015, a man brutally murdered a Harris County Sheriff Deputy. In November, 2016, a San Antonio police officer was targeted and murdered during a traffic stop.

The Officer Down Memorial Page – a non-profit that is “dedicated to honoring America’s fallen law enforcement heroes” – lists 1,886 line of duty deaths in the history of Texas.

“Each year on July 7, while our gatherings with family and friends to celebrate our nation’s independence are fresh in our memories, Texans should pause in prayer and remembrance for our fallen law enforcement officers,” said Sen. Huffines.

Senator Huffines has also filed Senate Bill 15 which will give the surviving spouse of a fallen first responder property tax relief in the form of a total exemption.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued the following statement:

“July 7, 2016 was a dark day in Texas history when five brave police officers were shot in Dallas. It was a great blow to our state and it is fitting that we set aside a day to honor their loss and the loss of other officers and first responders who have fallen in the line of duty. SB 798 will set aside a special day every year to honor their memory, their bravery and their sacrifice.

“I congratulate Sen. Huffines and all members of the Texas Senate for filing this excellent bill in support of our law enforcement officers and their families.”

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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