Rep. Stewart Honors Salt Lake City Police Officer on the House Floor, Commemorates National Police Week

In honor of National Police Week, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), gave a speech on the House Floor commemorating local law enforcement officers. He specifically honored a Salt Lake City Police Officer, Ben Hone, who saved two female college students from a violent home evasion last year.

You can watch the speech here:

Congressman Stewart’s remarks:

Mr. Speaker, along with many of my colleagues I rise today to honor National Police Week.

One of the favorite things that I get to do as a member of Congress is to ride with police officers as they go about their duties. From St. George to Salt Lake City, I’ve had the opportunity to do this.

Sadly, many in our society and particularly among the press have been highly critical of law enforcement officers. Now I recognize that not all law enforcement officers are perfect. People make mistakes. We all do. But we can’t let the mistakes of a few, tarnish the name of such a noble and a brave profession.

Such criticism of police efforts doesn’t come without a cost. It forces the officers to pull back. To become overly cautious. To view every encounter that they may have through the prism of a lens of a media event.

And what is the result of this? We now know that crime rates have been rising across the country and interestingly and sadly, they are rising in some of the poorest communities. The communities that most need the help of an effective police force.

Now more than ever we need brave men and woman who are willing to serve and to protect.

And as I’ve said, I’ve had the chance to go on several ride-a-longs with local police departments. Again and again, I’ve been impressed with their hard work, their professionalism, their willingness to put themselves at risk to protect other people.

There’s a great example of this. I’m reminded of the heroic actions of Officer Hone, a police officer who last year saved two young girls in Salt Lake City.

A disturbed man, who had recently been released from prison and was on drugs, broke into the home of two sisters, both of them college students. He began to viciously attack them, and he took a knife and he attempted to take their lives.

Fortunately, Officer Hone was in the area, and he heard the screams of these young girls, and just seconds before the intruder expected to take the life of one of them, this heroic police officer quickly diffused the situation, literally saving her life.

Brea, the sister who was saved, said of the officer, “He was so professional and calm. Right when we made eye contact, I knew I was safe. It’s a miracle that he had so much composure. He was our angel.”

This is just one example of the thousands of courageous police officers we have in America. I’m proud to live in a country where professionals are ready to put their lives at risk in order to serve and to protect members of their community. 

Let us honor these police officers, their courage, their selflessness, their dedication. Let us honor them not just this week, but frankly all year round for the sacrifice that they give for us.

And with that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back.