NAPO Boycotts CNN Advertisers; NAPO Presents Legislative Award to Senator Ayotte; NAPO Supports James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act; NAPO Opposes Stop Militarizing Police Act; NAPO Attends NORA Public Safety Sector Council Meeting; Senate Appropriations Committee Reports Out CJS Bill; & Apply for the Body-Worn Camera Pilot Implementation Program SolicitationJune 16, 2015
NAPO Boycotts CNN Advertisers
CNN has extended its ongoing streak of anti-police rhetoric and misinformation by calling the violent attacker at the Dallas Police Department “courageous and brave.” This is from the same network that promulgated the whole “hands up, don’t shoot” myth after the Ferguson, Missouri shooting.
Below please find the text of a letter from NAPO Executive Board member and PANO President Mike Glasser instituting a call for a boycott of CNN and its advertisers.
To whom it may concern,
Being a citizen with an avid interest in news, current events, and social trends, like many folks I rely on mainstream media for accurate and contemporary reporting. It is no secret that some media sources will interview pundits and collaborators with views more aligned with the station’s own views thus casting the light of events in the desired shade. This is generally recognized and an accepted practice. Experience will teach the viewer what to expect and one can generally compensate by watching a variety of news sources to acquire a balanced perspective.
As the president of the police labor organization representing New Orleans police officers, I am frequently interviewed locally and occasionally nationally. I have often seen my own interviews edited and presented entirely differently depending upon the station doing the reporting. I mention this to give perspective to my comments which follow. I have had a lot of experience with how various news outlets distort news and commentary depending on their agendas.
I saw the piece with CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield regarding the attack on the Dallas (TX) Police headquarters early Saturday morning. I was appalled when I heard Whitfield describe the attacker, armed with automatic weapons and incendiary devices and using an armored vehicle as, “courageous” and “brave.”
On July 12, 2012, when CNN reported on the mass shooting at the Century movie theatre in Aurora, CO, the shooter was never described as courageous and brave. Nor was the shooter at Ft. Hood, TX in July, 2009, nor the next gunman at Ft. Hood in 2014.
It appears that when the attack is on a police station, CNN decides to glorify the attacker. Now perhaps it is only Ms. Whitfield’s opinion and not that of CNN. The people at CNN should understand that Ms. Whitfield’s remarks have incensed and insulted the entire law enforcement community along with each and every officer, deputy, and agent who has sworn to protect the public and risks their lives daily.
I’m certain that if CNN’s studios were attacked in a similar way and a police spokesperson described that attacker as brave, that sound bite would be replayed for days on end with a demand for the termination of that spokesperson and an apology from that Department.
At a time when politics is rendering American law enforcement impotent and it seems like we are being vilified by everyone with access to a microphone or a WiFi connection, CNN chooses to offer a cheap and offensive remark on international television. Unless there is a significant public apology by CNN and Ms. Whitfield to the Dallas Police Department and the entire law enforcement community, I will encourage my counterparts nationwide to endorse a boycott of CNN and all its supporting advertisers by all police officers, sheriff’s deputies, state and federal agents, all unsworn law enforcement personnel and their families, friends, and supporters.
– Michael Glasser, President
Police Association of New Orleans (PANO)
Additionally, the Dallas Police Association has issued a press release on this issue, which is attached to this report.
If all of our member groups can help get this word out and ask their officers, family members, and friends to write even one letter or email to a CNN advertiser, it will make a difference!
NAPO has been working over the weekend with staff members of Congress to put pressure on the President to rescind his order banning or restricting defensive equipment for police. This weekend’s attack in Dallas demonstrates the very real need for armor and high-caliber weapons for police to defend themselves and the public they protect.
NAPO is working on a letter to the headquarters of CNN’s major sponsors. Please let us know of any actions you take on this issue by copying us on letters and emails.
If you have any questions about our efforts, please contact Bill Johnson at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAPO Presents Legislative Award to Senator Ayotte
On June 10, 2015, NAPO’s Executive Director, Bill Johnson, presented NAPO’s Legislative Award for outstanding support of the law enforcement community to Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).
Senator Ayotte has pledged her support for many pieces of legislation to provide resources and protection to the law enforcement community. We have had the pleasure of working closely with Senator Ayotte and her staff over the past year on the Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act, which was signed into law in May 2015.
The Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act clarifies that both federal and state death benefits for the survivors of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty should be treated the same and not be subjected to federal income tax. Survivor benefits for federal law enforcement officers are currently not subject to federal income tax, but there is some ambiguity about the treatment of these benefits for similar state-based programs. The Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act will ensure that families of fallen officers are not forced to pay an excessive tax after their loved ones gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect our nation.
We are most grateful to Senator Ayotte for her tireless efforts, which led to the passage of this critical piece of legislation. We look forward to continuing to work with the Senator to make certain that families of fallen officers, who dedicated their lives to public service, are provided with every resource available.
If you have any questions about our work with Senator Ayotte and her staff, please contact Bill Johnson at: email@example.com.
James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act
On June 11, 2015, NAPO attended the following hearing, held by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s (E&C) Subcommittee on Health: “Examining H.R. 1786, James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act.” Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) referenced NAPO’s statement in support of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act, which was submitted as part of the official record. (NAPO’s statement for the record is attached to this report for your convenience and review).
The Subcommittee examined the World Trade Center Health Program, and demonstrated strong bipartisan support for a prompt and fully offset reauthorization of the program. The hearing included the following witnesses:
John Howard, Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Iris Udasin, Medical Director, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute
David Howley, Retired Police Officer, New York City Police Department
Barbara Burnette, Former Detective, New York City Police Department
(Mr. Howley and Ms. Burnette are members of NAPO).
To prepare for the hearing, last week, NAPO joined fellow stakeholders in meetings with staffers for key members of the E&C Committee’s Health Subcommittee to stress our support of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act. NAPO attended meetings with staffers for the following Subcommittee members: Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN), Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA), and Congressman Billy Long (R-MO).
The Zadroga bill’s two critical programs providing medical treatment and compensation for 9/11 heroes – the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund – are set to expire in October 2015 and October 2016 respectively. This legislation would permanently reauthorize these programs.
9/11 responders and survivors are still battling serious health crises resulting from exposure to the toxins at Ground Zero. More than 30,000 9/11 responders and survivors have an illness or injury caused by the attacks or their aftermath, and over two-thirds of those have more than one illness. Many are disabled and can no longer work. They are suffering from a host of chronic diseases: asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease and gastroesophageal reflux disease, and many more.
Medical research has identified more than 60 types of cancer caused by 9/11 toxins. More than 2,900 people have been diagnosed with cancers caused or made worse by the aftermath of the attacks - more than 800 New York Fire Department members and more than 550 New York Police Department personnel are struggling with serious 9/11-related illnesses, not including the more than 70 firefighters and 60 NYPD officers who have died from their 9/11-related illnesses.
Responders came from all over the country to aid in the response to the attacks. And some area residents, workers, and survivors have since moved and are currently receiving care in cities and states across the country. Participants enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program for treatment currently reside in all 50 states and in 429 of the 435 Congressional districts in the country.
These heroes put their lives on the line to serve us, and must be afforded every resource available as they cope with chronic health conditions caused by exposure to toxic chemicals at the World Trade Center.
This legislation also honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our nation. James Zadroga, a New York City Police Department Detective and member of NAPO, died of respiratory disease caused by his exposure to toxic chemicals at Ground Zero. It is our obligation and duty to remember these heroes and ensure that survivors who risked their lives to protect us continue to receive the treatment and compensation that they deserve.
The staffers were very receptive to our proposal, and Subcommittee members expressed support for reauthorizing the program during last week’s hearing.
NAPO will continue to work with fellow stakeholders to garner support for the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act. If you have any questions about this legislation, please contact Bill Johnson at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
NAPO Opposes Stop Militarizing Police Act
Last week, NAPO sent the attached letter to Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), to express our opposition to the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act. The bill will prohibit the federal transfer of militarized equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies including, Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, drones, and armored vehicles transferred through the U.S. Department of Defense’s 1033 Program, U.S. Department of Justice’s Byrne Justice Assistance Grant, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Grant programs.
This bill requires the return of all equipment currently being used by law enforcement agencies that is prohibited under this legislation. Additionally, the bill requires each agency that receives equipment to have 100 percent accountability of the property they receive and requires a programmatic review of how federal agencies with SWAT, or other tactical response teams, use the equipment they received.
The transfer of surplus Federal equipment to state and local law enforcement departments has contributed to the safety of law enforcement personnel and the public they serve. NAPO is extremely concerned that the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act will inhibit the ability of law enforcement departments to access this critical equipment to keep our communities safe.
Furthermore, the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act includes limitations on purely defensive equipment, such as head and face protection equipment. Creating limitations on such equipment will further endanger the lives of law enforcement officers, who have increasingly become targets of revenge and ambush attacks. The need for this equipment was evident over the past weekend, when an individual opened fire on officers outside the Dallas police headquarters.
NAPO will continue to urge the Administration and members of Congress to reconsider this policy reform, and work with us to protect our law enforcement officers.
If you have any questions about our efforts, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Sens. Rand Paul and Brian Schatz Introduce the Stop Militarizing Our Law Enforcement Act | U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky." Senator Rand Paul. N.p., 21 May 2015. Web. 15 June 2015.
NAPO Attends NCJA Brown Bag
On June 8, 2015, NAPO attended the monthly National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) Brown Bag. Melanca Clark (Chief of Staff of the COPS Office) joined the group to discuss final report of the Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
The Task Force made recommendations after holding seven public hearings across the country. It is important to note that NAPO was the only police rank and file group in the nation to have a seat on the Commission itself. Our Treasurer, Sean Smoot, of the Illinois PB&PA, was appointed by the President to the Commission. Additionally, NAPO’s President, Mick McHale, and Executive Director, Bill Johnson, testified at numerous Task Force listening sessions.
NAPO has voiced concerns with many of the Task Force’s recommendations. For example, the Task Force recommended independent criminal investigations and reviews by outside prosecutors when police use force that results in death or anyone dies in police custody, instead of the internal investigations that are the policy of some law enforcement agencies. Johnson has stressed that although an outside investigation of a police-involved shooting may make sense in limited circumstances when a police department has few resources, in the vast majority of cases, it is unnecessary and even counterproductive. It could drive a wedge between a local police department and the community it serves, and send a message that local police cannot be trusted.
Johnson also continues to stress concerns about the lack of rank-and-file involvement in implementing proposed recommendations.
NAPO will continue to ensure our members’ voices are heard loud and clear as the Task Force’s recommendations are considered and implemented. If you have any questions about this report, please contact Bill Johnson at: email@example.com.
NAPO Attends Annual NORA Public Safety Sector Council Meeting
NAPO participated in the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Public Safety Sector Council meeting on June 10, 2015. The primary focus of the meeting was priority needs for Correctional Officers. NAPO had the opportunity to learn from the following speakers:
Kerry S. Kuehl, MD, DrPH, MS, Professor of Medicine, Chief Health Promotion & Sports Medicine, Director Human Performance Laboratory, Oregon Health & Science University
Dr. Kuehl explained efforts and programs to promote healthy behaviors for public safety officers.
- Martin Cherniack, MD, MPH, Co-Director, CPH-NEW, Professor of Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center
Dr. Cherniack discussed the impact of mentoring programs on public safety officer health.
- Marie Garcia PhD, Social Science Analyst – Corrections Research at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Dr. Garcia provided background on the National Institute of Justice and its mission.
Julius Preston, President, CSC, (NP-8), CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 (Civil Service Employees Association/Service Employees International Union Local 2001) Correctional Supervisors Council
Mr. Preston provided an overview of a survey that was designed to look at the health concerns of supervisors in a correctional environment. The results suggest there is a need to improve the lifestyle of supervisors to extend their life expectancy.
Towards the end of the meeting, there was also a discussion on the World Trade Center Health Program (see above for additional details on NAPO’s efforts to reauthorize the program).
NAPO appreciated the opportunity to participate in the meeting, and looks forward to continuing to work with fellow stakeholders to ensure that our officers have the resources they need to stay healthy and safe while they work to protect our communities.
If you have any questions about the meeting, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senate Appropriations Committee Reports Out
Commerce-Justice-Science Spending Bill
On June 11, 2015, the full Senate Appropriations Committee reported out the Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) spending bill. The bill provides for $51.1 billion in discretionary funding, including $27.8 billion for the Justice Department, an increase of $798 million from the enacted 2015 level. The package is $985 million below the president's budget request.
Notable for our members, the bill includes the following:
Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program: $22,500,000
COPS Hiring: $187,000,000
Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program: $382,000,000
NAPO continues to stay engaged on CJS spending bills, and we will continue to work with other stakeholders to ensure that state and local law enforcement officers receive necessary funding to keep our communities safe.
If you have any questions about the House or Senate CJS bills, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
Deadline to Apply for the Body-Worn Camera Pilot Implementation Program Solicitation is June 16, 2015
The deadline for the Body-Worn Camera Pilot Implementation Program Solicitation is June 16, 2015. This competitive solicitation is for law enforcement agencies seeking to establish or enhance body-worn camera policy and implementation programs. Additionally, this solicitation seeks applications for one national training and technical assistance provider to build national capacity in support of recommended body-worn camera policy.
Applicants must register with Grants.gov prior to submitting an application. All applications are due to be submitted and in receipt of a successful validation message in Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on June 16, 2015.
If you have any questions about this solicitation, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please monitor NAPO’s website, www.napo.org, and Facebook page: National Association of Police Organizations, and follow us on Twitter at NAPOpolice for breaking news and updates.