NAPO contacts Congressional leadership to request support for Zadroga bill; Capitol Hill meetings; COPS 20th Anniversary; NAPO supports the Saving Kids from Dangerous Drugs Act; Law Enforcement Review; House Armed Services Committee hearing on 1033 Program; Congressional leadership changes; and request for TOP COP nominationsNovember 17, 2014
NAPO WASHINGTON REPORT
NAPO Contacts Congressional Leadership to Request Support for the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act
On November 12, 2014, NAPO sent an individual letter and a joint law enforcement stakeholder letter to Congressional leadership, advising them of our strong support for H.R. 5503 and S. 2844, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act. The letters were sent to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The letters stressed our strong support for the Zadroga bill, and requested assistance in moving the legislation through the Congress as expeditiously as possible. NAPO also reached out to dozens of staffers to request support for the bill. (The NAPO letter is attached to this report for your convenience and review).
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 continue these programs for 25 more years, through 2041.
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 will also honor 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.
NAPO looks forward to working with members of Congress and key law enforcement stakeholders to pass this important legislation. If you have any questions about this bill, please contact Bill Johnson at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Lawmakers Introduce Critical Reauthorization of James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act."
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. N.p., 17 Sept. 2014. Web. 19 Sept. 2014 <http://maloney.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/lawmakers-introduce-critical-reauthorization-of-james-zadroga-911-health>.
NAPO Meetings on Capitol Hill
Over the past week, NAPO has met with senior staffers for the following members of Congress: Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Congressman Peter King (R-NY), and Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL). NAPO used the aforementioned meetings to outline the following pieces of legislation:
Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Act: The BVP Grant Program provides Federal funds to state and local law enforcement departments to assist state and local law enforcement efforts to purchase bullet resistant vests. NAPO continues to expend all available efforts to garner additional support for the House and Senate versions of this bill.
Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Improvement and Reauthorization Act: This bill would reauthorize the COPS Program for five years and raise the current hiring cap from $75,000 to $125,000. The COPS Office has been extremely successful in implementing and carrying out its designated objectives. Since its creation, the COPS Office has assisted over 13,000 of the nation’s 18,000 jurisdictions with over $14 billion in funding to hire more than 125,000 additional officers. Reauthorizing this program will allow for the continuation of a highly successful program that keeps our communities safe.
Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act (JMHCA): The Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) created the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) to help states and counties design and implement collaborative efforts between criminal justice and mental health systems. The JMHCA reauthorizes the successful MIOTCRA and extends the JMHCP for five years. The JMHCP can help law enforcement agencies across the United States in their responsibilities in assisting citizens with mental health issues.
Social Security Fairness Act: This bill would strike the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) formulas currently used to calculate Social Security benefits. Both formulas were enacted in the 1980s because Congress was concerned Social Security paid unintended benefits to workers who had spent most of their careers in “non-covered” jobs. However, the formulas go too far and penalize workers with split careers who contributed a great deal to Social Security, but retire under their “non-covered” pensions. By significantly scaling back and reducing Social Security benefits for law enforcement officers and their survivors, as GPO and WEP do, officers and their families are provided much less protection against financial difficulties.
National Blue Alert Act: This legislation would help to create a nationwide alert system to quickly identify and apprehend suspects when a law enforcement officer is injured or killed in the line of duty. Creating a nationwide system that responds to criminal action against law enforcement officers will ensure the safety of the officers and the public they protect.
NAPO appreciated the opportunity to meet with each of the staffers, and we look forward to continuing to work with them. If you have any questions about any of the issues summarized above, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
NAPO Attends COPS 20th Anniversary Event
On November 12, 2014, NAPO attended an event, hosted by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the COPS Program. The event marked not only the accomplishments of the COPS Office over the past 20 years, but also the widespread success of community policing and the vast progress made by the law enforcement field in embracing this philosophy.
Attorney General Eric Holder opened the anniversary event. The Attorney General’s remarks were followed by a moderated discussion on the past, present, and future of community policing. Current COPS Office Director Ronald Davis and former Directors Joseph Brann, Thomas Frazier, Carl Peed, and Bernard Melekian participated in the discussion, which was moderated by Laurie Robinson, George Mason University professor and the former Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs.
NAPO appreciated the opportunity to attend this event, and we look forward to continuing to work with the COPS Office to advance community policing across the nation.
If you have any questions about this event, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAPO Supports the Saving Kids from Dangerous Drugs Act of 2013
On November 14, 2014, NAPO pledged our support for the Saving Kids from Dangerous Drugs Act of 2013 (S. 1686). The legislation is sponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Charles Grassley (R-IA), and is intended to stop drug dealers from targeting minors with flavored drugs.
For years, law enforcement has watched drug dealers entice minors to buy illegal drugs by flavoring them with chocolate or fruit flavors or by packaging the drugs to look like actual candy or soda. This bill responds to this serious and dangerous problem by providing stronger penalties when drug dealers alter controlled substances, with the intent to sell the drug product to minors.
Specifically, the bill would provide an enhanced penalty when any adult knowingly or intentionally manufactures or creates a controlled substance listed in Schedule I or Schedule II that is:
- Combined with a beverage or candy product,
- Marketed or packaged to appear similar to a beverage or candy product, or
- Modified by flavoring or coloring.
To receive an enhanced penalty, the perpetrator must have known or had reasonable cause to believe that the modified controlled substance would be distributed to a minor. Anyone who alters a controlled substance in these ways would be subject to the following penalty, in addition to the penalty for the underlying offense:
- Up to 10 years for the first offense
- Up to 20 years for a second or subsequent offense
This bill sends a strong and clear message to drug dealers – if you flavor or candy up your drugs to try to entice our children, there will be a very heavy price to pay. It will help stop drug dealers from engaging in these activities, and punish them appropriately if they do not.
NAPO looks forward to working with Senators Feinstein and Grassley to pass this important legislation. If you have any questions about this bill, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
United States. Cong. Senate. S. 1686, “Saving Kids From Dangerous Drugs Act of 2013" By Dianne Feinstein and Charles Grassley. 113th Cong., 2nd sess. S. Doc. Print.
NAPO Participates in Comprehensive Law Enforcement Review Project Teleconferences
NAPO is involved in a comprehensive law enforcement review project, which was initiated in response to a proposal, co-authored by NAPO, recommending a criminal justice review. The Attorney General requested the COPS Office to lead the project, with input from a diverse group of law enforcement stakeholders.
The goal of the project is to create a foundational document that provides an overview of key developments and challenges in American law enforcement, focusing on the last fifty years. Over the past week, NAPO participated in the following teleconferences to move the project forward:
- Alternatives to Incarceration: Restorative justice was the focus of last week’s discussion.
- Leadership, Culture, and Integrity: Fair and impartial policing was the focus of last week’s discussion.
- Technology in Policing: Subtopics that are being reviewed include: new technology (body cameras, ShotSpotter, etc.); policies; privacy; and investigations and crime science.
- Officer Safety and Wellness: Subtopics that are being reviewed include: suicide reduction efforts; officer killed in line of duty reviews; and safety equipment.
NAPO is concerned over the direction the project has taken, as we feel that some of the discussions may be objectionable to our members. As we move forward, we will continue to strongly advocate that the rank-and-file perspective be included in the project review. NAPO will keep our members updated as the project moves forward.
If you have any questions about NAPO’s involvement in the criminal justice review project, please contact Bill Johnson at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAPO Attends House Armed Services Committee Hearing on 1033 Program
On November 13, 2014, NAPO attended the following House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee hearing: “The Department of Defense (DoD) Excess Property Program in Support of U.S. Law Enforcement Agencies: An Overview of DoD Authorities, Roles, Responsibilities, and Implementation of Section 1033 of the 1997 National Defense Authorization Act.” The following witnesses testified at the hearing, which was led by ChairmanJoe Heck (R-NV):
- Navy Vice Admiral Mark D. Harnitchek, Director, Defense Logistics Agency
- Alan Estevez, Principal Deputy Undersecretary, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics
- Mark E. Lomax, Executive Director, National Tactical Officers Association
- Jim Bueermann, president, Police Foundation
As noted in the title, the primary purpose of the hearing was to examine the federal program that enables local police departments to acquire military equipment – the 1033 Program. NAPO has discussed the 1033 Program with dozens of staffers on Capitol Hill. NAPO continues to stress that the vast majority of equipment provided under the 1033 Program is defensive in nature. Furthermore, the 1033 Program enables law enforcement departments to garner equipment that they would otherwise be unable to afford. Ending the program would leave law enforcement departments unable to equip their officers with the necessary tools to keep their communities safe.
NAPO will keep our members updated on the status of this review. If you have any questions, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
Congressional Leadership Changes
Congressional leadership elections were held last week. Below please find a summary of elected leaders for the 114th Congress:
- Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been elected Senate Majority Leader.
- Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)has been elected Senate Minority Leader.
- McConnell was elected as GOP leader without dissent. Reid faced detractors in moderate Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Heidi Heitkamp (N-ND).
- The rest of the Republican leadership team was also reelected for the new Senate majority:
- Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) – Assistant Majority Leader (Majority Whip)
- Senator John Thune (R-SD) – Republican Conference Chair
- Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) – Republican Policy Committee Chair
- Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) – Republican Conference Vice Chair
- Senator Reid’s Democratic deputies were also reelected:
- Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) – Assistant Minority Leader (Minority Whip)
- Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) – Democratic Conference Committee Vice Chair & Policy Committee Chair
- Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) – Democratic Conference Secretary
- Democrats also plan to add Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to their leadership team.
- Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) was elected the Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
- The following lists House of Representatives leadership positions for the 114thCongress:
- Congressman John Boehner (R-OH) – Speaker of the House
- Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) – House Majority Leader
- Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) – Majority Whip
- Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) – Minority Leader
- Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) – Minority Whip
NAPO will continue to keep our members updated as strategies and positions develop for the 114th Congress. If you have any questions about the leadership positions listed above, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everett, Burgess, and Seung Min Kim. "McConnell, Reid Elected to Top Posts in Senate." POLITICO. N.p., 13 Nov.2014. Web. 13 Nov. 2014. <http%253A%252F%252Fwww.politico.com%252Fstory%252F2014%252F11%252Fmitch-mcconnell-harry-reid-senate-posts-112868.html>.
Congressman Pascrell Recognizes Anthony Wieners on House Floor
On November 12, 2014, Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) recognized Anthony Wieners’ leadership and dedication to the law enforcement community. Congressman Pascrell recognized Mr. Wieners for his years of service, including his role as State President of the New Jersey PBA and Vice President of NAPO. (Congressman Pascrell’s full remarks are below).
It has been an honor to have Tony Wieners as a leader at NAPO, and we wish him nothing but the best.
ANTHONY F. WIENERS
HON. BILL PASCRELL, JR.
OF NEW JERSEY
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Anthony Wieners’ leadership and dedication to the law enforcement community and the citizens of New Jersey. To honor his years of commitment, his friends, family, and colleagues joined together in October to celebrate his amazing career.
Anthony F. Wieners is a life-long resident of Belleville, New Jersey. A veteran of the United States Navy, Anthony began his law enforcement career in January of 1980 as a patrolman with the East Orange Police Department, transferring to the Belleville Police Department in September of 1980, where he held the position of Detective until his retirement in July 2014. In 1991, Anthony was elected State Delegate of Belleville Police Benevolent Association (PBA), a position he held until his retirement. Anthony also held the offices of Belleville PBA Local President and Vice President. In addition to holding local offices, Anthony is a past chairman and co-chairman of the Essex County PBA Conference.
Anthony was appointed to the New Jersey State PBA Executive Board in 1993 and on May 1, 1997, he was appointed to the position of Executive Vice President. In 2007, Anthony was elected State President of the New Jersey PBA with a membership of over 33,000 officers. Anthony served as PBA President with distinction until earlier this year when he stepped down to allow for new leadership.
As PBA President, Anthony instituted many new programs within the organization including the NJ PBA COP SHOT program that provides automatic reward money whenever any NJ law enforcement officer is killed or wounded in the line of duty. On the national level, Anthony was a Vice President of the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), which represents over 254,000 law enforcement officers from more than 4,000 organizations throughout the United States. Anthony has also been involved in the Police Unity Bike Tour for many years. In 1998, 2006 and 2014, he participated in rides from NJ to Washington, DC and helped raise over $2 million in funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
As Co-Chair of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, I was proud to have Anthony as a partner on many efforts including our fight to protect the COPS program from budget cuts that would have decimated the program.
Anthony holds memberships in many organizations, including the NJ Police Honor Legion, the Belleville Kiwanis Club, the Asian American Law Enforcement Advisory Committee, and the Knights of Columbus in Belleville.
Anthony is married to Julia, and they have two children, Michael and Kaitlin.
The job of a United States Congressman involves much that is rewarding, yet nothing compares to recognizing and commemorating the services of individuals like Mr. Anthony F. Wieners.
Mr. Speaker, I ask that you join our colleagues, Mr. Wieners’ family, friends, and all those whose lives he has touched, and me, in recognizing Anthony Wieners for his dedication to his family and his nation.
Help NAPO Generate TOP COPS® Nominations
It is that time of the year again! We are trying to gather as many quality TOP COPS® nominations as possible. With TOP COPS® again taking place in May, we are under very tight schedule constraints.
The 2015 ceremony will take place on Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in conjunction with National Police Week. The Awards Ceremony will be held at the JW Marriott Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C. The deadline for nominations is January 10, 2015.
Please take this opportunity to nominate a fellow officer. Please also feel free to include the nomination form in your association or department publication or e-mail the nomination form to friends and colleagues by downloading a PDF from our website, www.napo.org. (The form is also attached to the end of this report). Help us ensure that all states and territories are represented at the 22ndAnnual TOP COPS Awards® Ceremony. We appreciate any help you can provide.
If you should have any questions, please contact NAPO’s Director of Events, Elizabeth Loranger, at: email@example.com.
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.