As a result of the great work of our prosecutors and support staff, and the relationships we have built over the years, our county is stronger
By Michael Ramos
In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day. The purpose is to pay tribute to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives while serving in the line of duty.
Like many of you, I understand and respect the great sacrifices our brave, devoted officers make every day protecting us from danger. They risk their lives and put their personal safety at risk to make sure that we are safe. It’s a selfless endeavor and a truly honorable path that only a few can and will choose to take as a career.
Sadly, though, some officers pay the ultimate price while protecting and serving our communities. Last year, we lost 12 officers in California, a number that always carries significant weight, no matter how high or low it may appear. One fallen officer is one too many.
As district attorney of San Bernardino County, I have been blessed to work with these heroes. I have witnessed firsthand the dedicated efforts that go into not only ensuring our personal security and protecting our families, but the tireless work that enables our prosecutors to effectively do their job in the courtroom. The numbers I see that come out of our Crimes Against Peace Officers Unit are always staggering because, to me, they are more than just another filed case or sentencing. Each case, each defendant represents a blatant disdain for law and order. As far as I am concerned, any individual who will assault or interfere with an officer carrying out his or her duties is a threat to law and order and an even bigger threat to every law-abiding citizen.
In 2016 — in our county alone — 214 defendants were sentenced to state prison for a total of 747 years for committing crimes against peace officers. In that same year, an additional 1,146 defendants were sentenced to county prison and county jail for a total of 428 years. As for new cases filed that same year, 346 other officers were victims of crime. We will continue to hold those who assault, injure or threaten our officers accountable for their actions.
While today may be a yearly observance, let us not forget the daily sacrifices our law enforcement officers make throughout the entire year. Today we take pause and mourn those we have lost and pray for the families they have left behind. Tomorrow, let us work even harder to prevent future tragedies and find ways to show our gratitude for those who rush to our aid when we are faced with life-threatening danger.
Michael Ramos is San Bernardino County district attorney.
Click here to read story in the San Bernardino Sun: DA Mike Ramos respected by colleagues across nation: Guest commentary
Click here to read story in the Victorville Daily Press: Desperate attack on Ramos
Click here to read story in the Highland Community News: Elect Ramos
We write as a past President and future President of the National District Attorneys Association, as a Republican and a Democrat, as an easterner and a mid-westerner and as colleagues and friends of San Bernardino’s District Attorney Mike Ramos.
It has been brought to our attention that Mike has been criticized by his opponent for re-election for devoting “too much” of his time to NDAA business. This is clearly the sign of a desperate candidate lacking a strong platform to run on. We know it, you know it, and the general public sees right through it when a candidate is unable to discuss the issues, attack the individual. But even this attack is a far stretch! Trying to take an incredible honor, namely representing America’s 2500 elected prosecutors and their 40,000 assistant district attorneys, and turn it into a negative is a cheap shot unworthy of a serious candidate for such an important office.
As should be obvious by his position, Mike Ramos is universally respected by his colleagues all over this great nation. Mike recently met with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to discuss solutions for the opioid crisis crushing America as well as his office’s work in the area of Crimes Against Peace Officers. He has also brought his leadership to Capitol Hill to advocate legislation in the area of criminal justice improvement and shared his personal experience regarding the terrorist attack in San Bernardino. Along with carrying out his duties as District Attorney, Mike has fought tirelessly to stop Apple and Google from blocking law enforcement access with a court order to the smart phone records of those who would kill innocent civilians.
Clearly, his work has not only impacted the residents of San Bernardino County in a positive way, but it has served as a model for other agencies across the nation.
We know the arguments; we’ve heard them from our own political opponents. Why not stay home in San Bernardino? Shockingly, Mike actually carries a phone and an iPad that allows him to stay in contact with his office when on the road. We’ve seen him in action, often excusing himself from our national meetings to attend to matters at home as well as encouraging other prosecutors to get involved in the NDAA and the positive impact it has on those who join.
Mike is a dedicated leader and a great D.A. Thank you to the people of the wonderful county of San Bernardino for sharing a little of Mike’s time with America’s prosecutors. We have all been made better because of it.
HENNEPIN COUNTY ATTORNEY
PRESIDENT ELECT, NDAA
PAST PRESIDENT, NDAA