Videos & Speeches

I rise this afternoon in the middle of this debate on this appropriations bill because of the timing of a tragedy in our state and the reality that this is a week of importance to reflect upon what happened in Kansas just a few days ago.

I want to honor the life of Police Detective Brad Lancaster. He was a member of the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department, and he was killed in the line of duty. On May 9 of this year, Detective Lancaster joined Kansas City, Kansas, patrol officers in responding to a call about a suspicious person. When law enforcement arrived, the suspicious person fled into a field where Detective Lancaster exchanged gunfire and he was hit twice. Unfortunately, ultimately, he died from his injuries.

Detective Lancaster gave his life to keep his community safe, and he deserves our highest respects and appreciation, our love and care for his family, for his service and for his sacrifice. His friends, family and neighbors remember Brad Lancaster’s commitment to his community and its extension beyond his nine years of service to the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department.

Before joining the police department, Brad served in the U.S. Air Force and completed two tours of duty abroad, including one in Kuwait during Desert Shield. Neighbors say that Brad was a family man and one who was always there to offer a helping hand.

Detective Lancaster is survived by his wife Jamie and two daughters, Brianna and Jillian. I join the Kansas City community and law enforcement agencies across the country in our prayers for Detective Lancaster and his family as we mourn his death.

This tragic loss occurred just prior to National Police Week – a time in which we celebrate those who leave their homes and families each day and put their lives on the line to keep our neighborhoods safe. So today, during this National Police Week and especially in the wake of this tragic death in Kansas City, I want to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to American law enforcement officers and their families – to thank them for working tirelessly amid dangerous conditions for the sake of others, for upholding the law and for the burdens they shoulder and the sacrifices they make on a daily basis. We owe so much to these everyday heroes.

Law enforcement officers perform some of the most difficult and hazardous jobs in America. A routine traffic stop can turn into deadly gunfire, a shootout without warning. Members of this legislative body and communities across America alike must do everything we possibly can to prioritize and protect the lives of those who protect us.

Federally, efforts like the Justice Assistance Grant Program and the bulletproof vest grant program help enhance the safety of our law enforcement officers, and Congress’s continued support of these efforts is important. This body passed the Fallen Heroes Flag Act, which was signed into law on Monday. This week, I hope the Senate will unanimously adopt a resolution to express appreciation to the police officers and honor each of the 123 who were killed in the line of duty last year.

Support and appreciation for law enforcement must be delivered not only in the communities where officers have been killed, but to every officer every day. When we as Americans commit to the safety, training and support of law enforcement, we can help to secure our streets, strengthen our communities, and hopefully reduce the number of deaths in the line of duty.

May Kansas City, Kansas, police detective Brad Lancaster and each of those fallen heroes rest in peace.

Madam President, I yield the floor.