Thank you for your service to our commonwealth. I want to bring to your attention a recent letter by Gov. Tom Wolf to all state employees marking Juneteenth as a state holiday of service.
On Friday, he wrote: “Juneteenth is a celebration of the progress we have made as a nation towards equality and justice for all. Sadly, the continued death of African Americans at the hands of police … are painful reminders that racism and intolerance are still with us today.”
Pennsylvania state troopers support the Juneteenth holiday. But in making his announcement, Gov. Wolf chose to use his platform to further push a false narrative that is inflammatory, reckless, and hurtful. This is nothing less than the worst kind of political pandering and only serves to further divide our nation at the expense of officers who already work incredibly dangerous jobs.
Even worse, Gov. Wolf insulted law enforcement during National Police Week, held May 8-15. The week is an annual observance when memorial events are held all across America to honor police officers who have sacrificed their lives. In our history, 99 Pennsylvania Troopers have died in the line of duty. Last year in the United States, 264 officers were killed. Thus far in 2021, 125 have died.
As he declares a day of service, Gov. Wolf spits in the faces of all police officers and troopers who have dedicated their lives to service. And for their families who have lost loved ones in the line of duty, this insult rips open a fresh wound.
Gov. Wolf owes all law enforcement and their families an apology.
Troopers want to have real conversations about moving forward together to benefit all residents of this great commonwealth. But that cannot happen as long as the leader of our commonwealth pits everyone against the police. This must end now.
David Kennedy, President