Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I rise today to recognize the tragic death of a Marylander. Officer Jacai Colson of the Prince George’s Police Department was killed in the line of duty, on Sunday, March 13, 2016. Officer Colson was an upstanding law enforcement officer whose death shocked and saddened so many in Maryland and the national law enforcement community. America is the great nation it is in no small part because of our respect for the rule of law. Officer Colson and his fellow Prince George’s County police officers put their lives on the line every day to uphold the rule of law.
Officer Colson was only twenty-eight years of age. Today, March 17th, 2016, would have been his 29th birthday.
On Sunday, March 13, 2016, the District III station in Prince George’s County came under fire in what was a deliberate attack on law enforcement and on the rule of law itself. Officer Colson arrived on the scene. After finding himself in the middle of a firefight, Officer Colson had the composure to return fire. During the firefight, Officer Colson was shot and killed.
Every member of the United States Senate, every Marylander, and every American should be inspired by the life of Officer Jacai Colson. Officer Colson was an undercover narcotics agent. He had a dangerous job with zero margin for error. Officer Colson did not make errors. He was a four year veteran of the Prince George’s Police Department. The Commander of the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Narcotic Enforcement Division said of Officer Colson, “Not only is he good at his job, he’s that guy that you wanted on your team.” The President of the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 89, described Officer Colson as “… always the first person here in the morning, ready to work and put in a full day’s work.”
Officer Colson was a native of Boothwyn, Pennsylvania. He came from a law enforcement family. His grandfather, Sergeant James G. Colson Jr., retired from the Delaware County, Pennsylvania Police Department after more than forty years of service. Officer Colson was the quarterback of his high school football team. He attended Randolph Macon University, where he also played football. He sang in the Ujima Gospel Choir and worked in the Admissions Office and in the Marketing & Communications Department. Officer Colson gave of himself to improve his community while he was in college. He was a member of Brothers 4 Change, a student organization devoted to community service, and he also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity.
I am thankful to the Colson family for sharing such a promising young man with the people of Prince George’s County. The pain they are going through right now is a pain no family should have to endure. Most tragically, they are not alone. So far in 2016, twenty-three law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty. In February, two of Officer Colson’s Maryland colleagues from the Harford County Sheriff’s office, Senior Deputy Mark Logsdon and Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey were killed responding to a call.
The loss of Officer Colson represents the loss of one of the best and brightest among us. He could have done anything with his life and he chose to protect his fellow Americans. I am thankful that Officer Colson was able to enrich and save the lives of so many people during his life. On behalf of the people of Maryland and my fellow United States Senators, I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Officer Colson. I hope they are able to find solace in the fact that Jacai Colson was a true hero.
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