Now let us praise brave men and women who wear the badge. Many of these public servants lost their homes in the Katrina flood water, and for a time lost communication with their families.
Yet they continued to report for duty and provide the necessary police services to the city and the Port of New Orleans.
These heroes went above and beyond the call of duty, performing dangerous tasks far outside their job description.
Yet they never complained.
The Port of New Orleans is fortunate to employ such dedicated and conscientious police officers and firefighters. For that reason, on August 29, 2015 – the 10-year Anniversary of Katrina – I will announce that these 60 people will have their names placed on a Hall of Fame plaque.
This plaque will be displayed, on this day and forevermore, in the lobby of Harbor Police Headquarters.
For those heroes who attend our ceremony, I will also present a 10-year Katrina Anniversary Medal of Honor.
The Katrina emergency was an event like no other. The mass flooding, the rescue operations, death toll, chaos, gunfire, looting, Blackhawks hovering above …
… and the frantic radio chatter, lack of resources, unbearable heat, courage, cowardice, suicides, and the smell of mold that lingered throughout the city … all of this will forever haunt those of us who endured.
For those members of the Port of New Orleans Harbor Police along with the core group of first responders, who survived this history-making event and remained on scene for that emergency period after the storm, I am convinced you very likely saved our city and the port.
Now let us praise brave men and women who wear the badge.
I am extremely proud of each and every one of you and will never forget the blood, sweat and tears we endured as a family under duress, a team, a group of men and women who upheld their oath of office under the most difficult conditions.
Never leave the fight. Never give up.
And never forget the bravery these men and women showed in the face of disaster.
Thank you for your service to the City of New Orleans and the Port of New Orleans.
I am honored to be your chief.
IN MEMORIUM-- 1,577 NEW ORLEANS CITIZENS LOST THEIR LIVES DURING THE KATRINA DISASTER
Robert Sterling Hecker