Detective Ryan Holets’ full speech at the Republican National Convention

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Albuquerque Police Department Detective Ryan Holets spoke on the second night of the Republican National Convention on Aug. 25, 2020 about the effect of drug use on the community he serves.


Hi, I’m Ryan Holets, I’m a police officer from New Mexico. In 2017, I had an encounter that changed my life forever. I had just started my shift and responded to a call for service at a gas station. When I arrived, I saw a man and a woman sitting on a grassy slope. I recognized the telltale signs, a needle, a spoon. I knew immediately that they were preparing to inject themselves with heroin. Sadly this is a common sight for me. I encounter the ravages of addiction every day but nothing could prepare me for what I discovered as I approached them. The woman was very pregnant. In my shock, I asked her if she knew that she was harming her baby by doing drugs. She crumbled and burst into tears. Two worlds collided as I knelt down beside her, a police officer and a homeless drug addict, brought together by forces outside of our control.

As we talked, our humanity, distinct from our stations in life, was made abundantly clear. Her name was Crystal and in the midst of her suffering, she confided that she loved her unborn baby. She wanted the best for her child. In that moment, I saw her the way that all of you who know and love an addict see them, as fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, cousins, and friends, as human beings full of value and dignity but robbed of their potential by this disease. When Crystal said that she was looking for a family to adopt her baby, God showed me exactly what I had to do. Without hesitation, I told her that my family would welcome her baby through adoption.

Today, our beautiful daughter Hope is a thriving two-year- old. Crystal is fast approaching three years of recovery. She is a dear friend and a constant inspiration to me and others. I hold a special place in my heart for those facing opioid addiction and that’s why I’m enormously grateful to the president for his leadership in fighting this deadly enemy. Through his efforts, we’re turning the tide on the crisis of addiction. President Trump declared the opioid crisis to be a public health emergency and then secured $6 billion in new federal funding to help Americans fight opioid abuse. He invested an additional $100 million to stop the opioid crisis in rural America and in a move that strikes at the root of the problem, he implemented a safer prescribing plan aimed at reducing opioid prescriptions by over a third within three years.

This is an effort that stops addiction before it ever gains ahold in someone’s life and it’s having an impact. Drug overdose deaths decreased in 2018 for the first time in 30 years. Many of the states hardest hit by the opioid crisis are seeing the largest drop in deaths. We’re seeing that doctors are writing fewer prescriptions for opioid pain drugs. These are significant improvements that have a meaningful impact.

I think we are fortunate, America, to have a president who cares deeply for the downtrodden and who works tirelessly to find solutions. A president who doesn’t just talk about problems but stops and helps. President Trump is the leader we’ve needed the last four years and he is the leader we need for the next four. You see, Donald Trump is the right president at the right time. Let’s make sure he’s re-elected on November 3. I pray God’s blessings on you and your family and may God bless America.

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