by Bill Bratton
By some counts, there are nearly 18,000 police agencies in this country, and as many as 800,000 law enforcement officers. We come from departments large and small, state and local, tribal and federal, but we share one thing: we keep people safe. It’s what we do. Two days ago, I said as much when I had the solemn honor and mournful duty to eulogize another of my officers.
Detective First Grade Randolph Holder was slain while attempting to apprehend a shooting and robbery suspect on October 20. His funeral was held last Wednesday, and thousands of my officers — and those from dozens of different agencies in far flung states and nations — stood post in a driving rain to show their solidarity with an officer who gave his life in the cause of public safety. At attention and parade rest they stood for an officer most had never met but whom all nevertheless knew, because he was a cop — and because it’s what we do.
I have received countless messages of support from my fellow chiefs and sheriffs as well as law enforcement officers of all ranks from across the country and beyond. There have been too many to acknowledge personally, although each deserves a response. I want everyone to know how grateful the NYPD family is to those officers who came to our city and stood in the rain for their brother officer and to all those who took the time to send us a message. On behalf of the NYPD, I offer thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers
I would hope that I never have to return such condolences to any of you, but we know that our profession makes that unlikely. It is what we do.
Bill Bratton is the commissioner of the New York City Police Department.