Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Relating to Indemnity Payments for Law Enforcement Officers.
TO HELP ENFORCE the laws of the United States, the Federal Government depends heavily upon 350,000 State and local police officers.
When these men pit their lives against the bank robber, the counterfeiter, or the kidnaper, they are enforcing Federal law. Sometimes, duty well-done and justice well-served results in their injury or death.
The sacrifices of these brave men are no less than those of Federal law enforcement officers, and it is only right that they and their families should have equal protection if tragedy should strike.
This bill gives that protection.
Should a local policeman be killed or injured while enforcing Federal law, it assures that he and his family will receive benefits at least equal to those the Federal Government provides for its own law enforcement officers.
Justice and progress demand that our Nation be safe for all our citizens.
Every community in America owes a daily debt to the policemen who safeguard our lives and property. I hope this enlightened and compassionate action of the Congress will stimulate State and local governments to review and increase their own indemnity payments, many of which are clearly inadequate.
This is an act of simple justice for policemen who offer their lives for the cause of American justice. I am proud that it will bear my signature.
Note: As enacted, the bill (H.R. 11816), approved April 19, 1968, is Public Law 90-291 (82 Stat. 98). The statement was released at Austin, Texas.
Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Relating to Indemnity Payments for Law Enforcement Officers. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/237819