Grassley Backs the Blue, Honors Fallen Iowa Officer at Judiciary Hearing

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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today questioned witnesses at a hearing to address law enforcement safety and the rising crime against police. Iowan Zach Andersen of Cedar Falls, a public safety officer, testified about the ambush on Iowa police last year that resulted in the death of Sergeant Jim Smith of the Iowa State Patrol. He also discussed the need to support the law enforcement community.

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Senator Grassley’s introduction of Officer Andersen can be found HERE.

In a prepared statement given by Officer Andersen wrote: “On April 9th 2021, Kathy Smith lost her husband, Zander and Jazlyn lost their father and the law enforcement family lost a brother. Sergeant Smith made the ultimate sacrifice. And from all I’ve learned about him and the leader he was, he wouldn’t have had it any other way, but to be sent first and protect his men. I ask you today to lead like Jim would – by defending us, protecting us, caring for us, and validating the work we do. As law-enforcement officers we talk about holding the line, the thin blue line. Serving and protecting those in need. We need our families, our friends, our communities and our nation’s leaders to have our back as we fight to hold that line. Because without that support, the line cannot be held.”

 

Sergeant Smith’s widow, Kathy Smith, submitted written testimony honoring her late husband and calling for more support for law enforcement officers. She wrote: “I write this letter urging you to take steps to protect our law enforcement against attacks on their lives. These men and women in blue made a promise to serve and protect the people in our communities while facing the risk of paying the ultimate sacrifice. They do so willingly and with great courage each and every day. My husband had a love for justice and was one of the many who swore to protect others. He, along with many others, ended up giving his life for the sake of Justice. It is in honor of him and the fallen heroes that I plead with you to do something to help prevent future losses of our law enforcement officers.”

 

Last year, 73 officers were intentionally killed, increasing from the previous year by 59 percent. Stories of ambush attacks and murders of law enforcement in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and other major cities have highlighted the 133 officers shot in ambush styles of attack. Iowa officers are faced with the same issues. Grassley recognized Sergeant Smith on the Senate floor last year after his murder.

 

For months, Grassley has been calling on the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on the rising crime rates. He led a press conference on the rising crime in America and commemorated ‘National Police Week’ in May. Grassley continues to back the blue by leading bipartisan bills supporting America’s law enforcement officers and investing in our communities.

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