President Obama Honors 131 Police Officers Fallen in the Line of Duty

This year's National Peace Memorial Officers' Memorial Service comes at turbulent time.
19:21 | 05/15/15

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Transcript for President Obama Honors 131 Police Officers Fallen in the Line of Duty
A live event in Washington right now where thousands of police officers from across the world or gathered President Obama is set to pay tribute to a 131. Officers. Who had only. In a line of duty. I'm Caroline Costello here's a look at presidency right now let's listening or. All they have to conceive you do on behalf of law enforcement and their families. Won't affect the entire fraternal order police and its leadership. Including Jim Pasco. And on the heading for everything that you do. It is support those who protect and serve. Let me also say that as we gather here today. Our prayers remain whipped the families of our Marines. And two nepalese soldiers. Out of the wreckage of their helicopters have been found. In a remote part of Nepal. They went to that remote land. To help people who suffered devastating losses in the terrible earthquake. They're represented truth that guides our work around the world. Our friends are in need America helps. Sometimes those in uniform. Get attention only when there's a battle but we do so much more than that looking out for folks were vulnerable. Or have a tough time if it's serious disaster. Became bowl great rest. Great sacrifice. And we give thanks to all our fellow Americans military and civilian who reflect. The very best of American leadership around the world. The world's better form. We are here. To honor heroes who lost their lives. In the line of duty. Men and women who put themselves in the way it danger. So the rest of us could live in sight. There are beat cops. Deputies. Detectives. Correctional in for service offices. Federal agents and tribal police. But to many here today they went by different types. Caring husband. Loving wife. My son. My daughter. Mom. Dad. Sewed all the families were here today. Whose loved ones did not come home at the end of the shift. Please know how. Deeply sorry we are for the lost the you've been to work. Know how deeply grateful we are for your loved one sacrifice. We hope the Muppets heroes because that's what they are. It takes a special kind of courage. To be a peace officer. Be the one. People turn to in their most desperate moments. To be willing to run into a dangerous situation. When everybody else is running the other what. Scripture tells us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves but. Only a special few tech vet commandments so deeply to heart that they are willing to risk. Their lives. So that others. Often total strangers. Can know peace. And security. That's what. Peace officers did. And today we honor a 131. Who made that ultimate sacrifice. Officer Kevin Gordon was a member of the police department of Britain Jordan. Husband to Tammy father to seven children. Army veteran. His daughter Debra says. We were his platoon. And Kevin deployed his own training to raise his young platoon leader Mehmet cases. A map motivated aren't. There were motivated. We drove them but. We're the basics to study art. And a push yourself. And to take care beach up. And ever wary when he made friends. And Ted his words. You never met a stranger. To help make ends meet Kevin took a night shift as a security guard at a Waffle House. One night some customers got rowdy and as Kevin was placing one of the troublemakers under rusty was shot and killed. Just 43 years old. One week later Kevin's son doesn't Kai graduated from Griffin. Matters here model world over. A hundred of Kevin's fellow officers. And today heads because in the army training to be an empty. Wants to be in law enforcement just like his day. Senior deputy. Just got Hollis started out as an EMT and San Antonio Texas. She and her husband Ricky applied to the Austin police kept me together works up to together graduated together. Just the second married couple and Austin do that. Jessica eventually joined. Travis county sheriff's office where she gave a senior deputy and member of the prestigious dive team. Here's a fierce animal up. She drove by eternal trying to cross a road you slam on the brakes and carried it gently on the other side. She took her son Mason on special vacations. To the family lake house. Nor owns. On diving trips just the two of them. Last September after heavy rains Jessica went out to check for civilians trapped in rising water. Around 2 o'clock in the morning weren't you radioed for help. Her car was being swept away by the floodwater. Minutes later she was missing. Dozens of officers came up to join the search but by the time the founder was too like. More than 1000 people attended. Senior deputy Hollis is funeral. Mayor Travis County sheriff Greg Hamilton made sure to tell all as officers that he never. Had a chance to say something just. I love each and every one of you and I'll do. Anything for. Officer. Ricardo Sanchez's parents. Brought him to cal for all reported from Mexico when he was just four years old. It was his first trip on an airplane. That airplane is what brought him to America. So you begin to collect model airplanes. It took this high school sweethearts sought on planes spotting index. Even worked as a freight carriers and orange county's John Wayne airport. But he always have one big dream to be a police office. When he joined me LAP deep breath and say it was one of the happy as days of his life. He lived within walking distance of his parents he volunteered. At the school where his niece teaches kindergarten. He married Sonia his high school sweetheart. And his partner on the force was his best friend. Select was good. One night officer Sanchez was in pursuit of a speeding vehicle when someone. Intentionally crashed into his patrol car. He was the third Los Angeles Police officer killed in a crash in just two months. Nor jobs. Are inherently dangerous. The reminders are to come. Just a few days ago two police officers were killed in line of duty. And Mississippi. A week before that an officer was killed in the line of duty in Queens. A few months before that two of his fellow officers. In the NY PV. Were killed as well. We cannot erase every darkness or danger from the duties Joe's. We can offer you the support you need to be safe. We can't. Make the communities you care about. And protect safer as well. We can't make sure that you have the resources. You need to do your job. We can't do everything we. We have to do to combat the poverty the place to many communities in which you have to serve. We can't work harder as a nation. To heal rifts that still exist in some places between law enforcement people you risk your lives to protect. We old all of you. Who Wear the badge without. And we owe it to your fellow officers who gave their last full measure of the vote. Most of all we can. Say thank you. We can say we appreciate. More great. For the work that you do each and every day. We can thank the fans what's. Who bear the burden alongside. A map the American people. Our for the families friends and fellow officers. Of those we've lost my prayers. And my deepest thanks. We could not be prouder of them. More grateful for their service. We could not be prouder of you. At all. Worked so hard to keep us. Oh god bless and keep the fault. May comfort the morning. They protect the peace papers. And may he bless the United States of America. We have been listening to President Obama speaking at the 34 annual national peace officers. Memorial. Speaking to police officers thousands of them from around the world. Offering. His thanks on behalf of the American people to the inherently dangerous job at the officers do. He told the crown bear that the United States should and can do more to offer resource is so officers can be safe for on the job. He also said America can do more to heal the rifts that exist between. Police officers and many of the communities. That they serve we want to bring in ABC's crime and terror analyst Brad Garrett who has been listening all along with us. Brad this has been a tradition for 34 years now but it feels like issuer ceremony does com. At a time that has been turbulent for police officers tensions between police officers. And their communities police force facing tough questions. Over tactics use in the shooting of Michael brown and Freddie gray at center etc. Do you think this is a particularly important speech this time around. I did and I think that many people in law enforcement particularly uniform law enforcement. Feel the strain. Of the public can being very harsh about how they do business. I think in some cases justify perhaps in other cases not. But because we entered this era. It's an instant video. Of what happens that particular arrest sites or shootings. What you see of officers dated a behavior now becomes. Something the rest of us can watch which is. A new phenomenon. Absolutely. We've also seen. Several officers becoming victims themselves in addition to other people we've seen killed an officer involved shootings. This is such a timely event right now did the president anything that he say particularly strike you. Well I think it's always important to personalize. The the death of law enforcement officers I think he did a great job of giving a number of examples a brief history of people wanting to be in law enforcement their family. Their dedication. Because I think it's it's very easy did forget. What. Uniform officers in particular have to do every day. To maintain it rule of law in most of our cities and counties around the country. Intended to remind people that look these are real people look at real families. And yes they have their faults and yes they need things that are correct to read the wall wholesome times. But they are human and by and large there are a good group of people. Bradley just saw the death of very young police officer here in New York City a very emotional. Fare well during a funeral last week that young police officer Brian Moore what kind of message do you think that. His fellow officers his family members and police officers in general across the country hope the community gets from a service like this and from a speech from the president. I think solidarity to a certain extent and mean that that was quite impressive that turnout last weekend by NYPD and other jurisdictions. In loops and to have this but what they call police week here in Washington. What sort of in being. With the president's speech. A few moments ago again pulls together. But that is that officers. You know trying to do their best to unify and to work with each other and work with other agencies. Bomb but they've got a very typical job and. You know sometimes we just acts basically too much of them as far as some of the decisions they have to make on the street. But having said that I think that if you look at law enforcement around the world which I have dealt went. Pro lot of years you can see it's we are so much better. And virtually every other country as far as how we have structured law enforcement and how we enforce the laws. With the basic he equal protections for citizens. We know a 131 officers. Aren't here today. Killed in the line of duty in the last year alone. No recent FBI report Brad released findings at the number of US law enforcement officers. Killed in the line of duty has actually been on the rise increased over last year do we know anything about what is behind this rise and is an alarming. We don't know exactly it and we'll tell you if you look at this from a sort of a longitudinal standpoint. The numbers clearly are fairly stable here in and year out. We we sell the spike we saw a dramatic drop for whatever reason in 2013. Which he got a two to 2012. And they go then sort of go back up again. You know we we since you seem to range managed cheers. From the low one hundreds and they beat up 25260. Officers. That die each year you know keep in mind that those are not all uniform firearms. There from from car wrecks there from being hit crime scenes or racks. And there's a number of other categories that. If you think about the number of law enforcement officers across the country. I'm actually surprised the numbers are as low as they are. But to go back to our earlier point because. An officer's death or misbehavior. Is in our face basically sometimes minutes without after happens. We now think about this more. And those two are in a situation where they don't. They have hard feelings toward law enforcement. I think he's an immediate video sort of exacerbate their feelings. About police. Okay ABC's crime and terror analyst Brad Garrett thank you so much we appreciate your insight we wanted to ABC's Pierre Thomas now for a little bit more insight. You know this year this is an annual tradition but this year this message is particularly poignant. Can you can his sort of tell us why this year this message comes at a very important time for police officers and the communities they Acer. U two things happening simultaneously you've had. Ferguson. You've had the situation in Baltimore recently glossy you've seen officers. Give their lives in the line of duty recently. The shootings that we had down south recently. Every day law enforcement officials put their lives on the line in this bracket Garrett said it's not. Only shootings that they're involved in and that they may die from it's racing this scene to try to help victims as some variety of different things. So at a time when the country is so the struggling with issues of race and policing. Simultaneously seeing officers give their lives from the public it is a very poignant moment and I think. I would guess by what the president was trying to do there. Is trying to make it clear that we all honor the sacrifice. Of the police department's. The many minority communities with say. That we also have to be realistic about. Where there are pockets of problems. It's. OK ABC's Pierre Thomas thank you so much we really appreciate that. Your insight on a show of support from President Obama today two police officers across the country and around the world thank you Pierre. If he can keep up with the story in real time but Allen ABC news happened storing this story for exclusive updates on the talent Caroline Costello in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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