Tribute in Memory of Jacob Chaffins

Floor Speech

Date: July 7, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky. Madam Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to one of Eastern Kentucky's fallen heroes, Jacob Russell Chaffins, a 28- year-old law enforcement officer and certified canine handler who was one of three officers killed in the line of duty in Allen, Kentucky.

Chaffins' life should not be measured by his number of years on Earth, but by the magnitude of his service and courageous action during his short lifetime. He not only earned Badge No. 533 from the Prestonsburg Police Department, but he was also a member of the Prestonsburg Fire Department, a certified EMT, and a U.S. Marshal. Chaffins was also enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces, serving as a Combat Engineer Sergeant in the Kentucky Army National Guard's 577th Sapper Company in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. As a guardsman, Sgt. Chaffins was deployed during multiple state emergencies, including the Winter Storm Response of February 2015 and COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts in March 2020, dedicating countless hours to serve and protect the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Sgt. Chaffins was awarded the Army Service Ribbon, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, and the Florida Commendation Medal for meritorious achievement in Exportable Combat Training Capability. Sgt. Chaffins was also awarded the Army Achievement Medal in recognition of his excellence as a team leader in preparing and equipping troops to defend this great Nation and the values we hold dear.

President Theodore Roosevelt, who was a former commissioner of the New York City Police Department once said, ``No man is worth his salt, who is not ready at all times to risk his body, to risk his well-being, to risk his life in a great cause.'' On Friday, July 1, 2022, Officer Chaffins paid the ultimate sacrifice after he valiantly risked his life and answered the call of duty to protect others in Floyd County.

His heroic death was the greatest display of love described in John 15:13, ``Greater love has no man than this: to lay down his life for his friends.'' It was with great courage of conviction that Jacob Chaffins lived to protect the people of the United States, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and especially those in Floyd County.

In a Nation where police forces have been vilified in recent years by the actions of a few bad actors, may Officer Chaffins' life be a reminder of the outstanding integrity and sacrifice that the thin blue line represents. We must continue to support our law enforcement officers across the United States, ensuring they are fully equipped, adequately prepared, and never at the mercy of evildoers.

This Nation owes a great debt of gratitude for the life and service of Officer Jacob Chaffins. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Savannah, their daughter Paisley, his mother April and his siblings, as well as the widespread band of brothers and sisters in uniform who served alongside him. May his loved ones find peace and confidence in God's promise in Matthew 5:9, ``Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.''