Sam Graves-Honoring a Fallen Hero
North Kansas City Police Officer Daniel Vasquez was just 32 years old when he was taken from us—senselessly gunned down at what should have been a routine traffic stop last month.
Born in North Kansas City, Officer Vasquez was known as a “shining star” of his department and a pillar of his community. He began his career serving as an “Avenue Angel” in both Wyandotte and Jackson counties—working to protect the safety of citizens and local businesses.
He continued his service by joining the Kansas City Police Department as a detention officer before joining the North Kansas City Police Department in January 2021. It took years of hard work, but after completing his training at the Kansas City Police Department’s Regional Police Academy, Officer Vasquez was sworn into office to protect the people of the community he was born and raised in.
Last week I had the honor of visiting the KCPD Regional Police Academy, to talk to the newest class of recruits and learn more about how our officers train and prepare to protect our communities
It was a truly humbling experience. Despite all the challenges facing our police officers today, these young men and women volunteered to put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. They don’t do it for the fame, for the glory, for the gratitude, and certainly not for the money. They do it out of a sense of duty—to protect and serve our communities.
And for that, we owe them all—particularly fallen heroes like Officer Vasquez—an immeasurable debt of gratitude. The North Kansas City Police Department awarded Officer Vasquez their Medal of Valor as a symbol of gratitude for his distinguished service and boundless bravery and this week, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and I introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives to honor the sacrifice of Officer Daniel Vasquez and express our profound condolences to his family, loved ones, and coworkers still struggling with this terrible loss.
But words and tokens of our gratitude are simply not enough. Not now. Our law enforcement professionals all across the country are under siege. Every single day, they put their lives on the line to keep us safe. Officer Vasquez’s sacrifice is an incredibly painful reminder of that, and that we should all do more to support our law enforcement officers and thank them for all they do for us.
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