NAPO Participates in Policing Strategy Summit; House Judiciary Approves Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act; NAPO Concerned about Treatment of Medicare Under New Healthcare Repeal and Replace; NAPO Attends Hill Briefing on Mental Health First Aid; NAPO on the Hill: Meeting Democratic Judiciary Staff; TOP COPS Law Enforcement SponsorshipMarch 27, 2017
NAPO Participates in Policing Strategy Summit
On March 24, NAPO Executive Director Bill Johnson participated in a Policing Strategy Summit hosted by The Heritage Foundation and run by former Attorney General Ed Meese. The Summit brought together some of America’s foremost law enforcement professionals, including leadership of national organizations, former police executives, prosecutors and academics, for a frank discussion on current challenges facing law enforcement and best practices for fighting crime. NAPO was one of only two rank-and-file organizations that participated.
The Trump Administration has set new law enforcement priorities, including establishing a new Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety through executive order, focused on reducing violent crime and supporting police. In this light, The Heritage Foundation convened the Summit to get input on an array of challenges to the law enforcement community from increasing crime rates in major cities to immigration concerns to spikes in violence and hostility against police officers. With this input, The Heritage Foundation will be putting together a white paper to advise the Trump Administration on how to reverse the damage the Obama Administration did to the federal government’s relationship with America’s law enforcement community.
This Summit was a great opportunity for NAPO to provide input with the Administration on the direction we want national policies affecting law enforcement to go and the best ways to support the line officers on the streets. Johnson was pleased with the discussion and NAPO looks forward to continuing to work with the Administration along any and all avenues to improve the federal government’s relationship with America’s law enforcement.
House Judiciary Approves Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act
In a victory for NAPO, the House Judiciary Committee approved the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1188), sponsored by Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), on March 22. NAPO was proud to support the Adam Walsh Child Safety and Protection Act when it was first introduced in 2006 and we have pledged our support for the reauthorization of this important Act.
The Adam Walsh Act has greatly assisted state and local law enforcement in all their varied efforts against crime, specifically crimes against children. The Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act reauthorizes key programs under the Adam Walsh Act and improves upon the original Act by strengthening law enforcement’s ability to track sex offenders through federal support of state registries and dedicated resources to target offenders who fail to comply with registration requirements.
NAPO will continue working with Congressman Sensenbrenner to help move this important bill through the House. If you have any questions about this bill or the Adam Walsh Act, please contact Andy Edmiston at email@example.com.
NAPO Concerned about Treatment of Medicare
Under New Healthcare Repeal and Replace
Before President Trump and House Republican leadership decided to pull the American Health Care Act (AHCA) from consideration on March 24, NAPO joined with the American Heart Association and the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) on a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) expressing our serious concerns regarding the treatment of the Medicare program under the bill. While NAPO does not usually wade into Medicare-related issues, we felt we had to weigh in on the changes the AHCA would make to Medicare as they would adversely affect its solvency, and thus, future coverage under the program for our members.
Medicare has been a critical lifeline for Americans since bipartisan majorities enacted the program in 1965. Today, for Americans from all walks of life, military retirees, veterans, including disabled veterans, teachers, police officers and firefighters – many of whom live on fixed incomes, Medicare provides not only health and wellness but also financial security and peace of mind.
Medicare, in general, has controlled health spending better than commercial plans and has been the source of affordable, accessible, and high quality care for millions of Americans. The 2016 Annual Report of the Medicare Trustees provided encouraging news for the future of Medicare Part A in its projections of the program being solvent for an additional 11 years longer than the previous projections.
The recently released Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the AHCA shows the legislation may actually weaken Medicare solvency and jeopardize its sustainability for millions of future beneficiaries who have paid into the program. By repealing several Medicare-related taxes and increasing the number of uninsured, the CBO predicts that under the AHCA, Medicare will be spending more while taking in less revenue. These changes may reduce the life span of the Medicare Part A program from 2028 to 2024, which is only seven short years away.
Medicare will be more important than ever as there are 10,000 new Medicare beneficiaries every day, the baby boomer generation is turning 70, and the 85 and up generation is set to double over the next 10 years. As most public pension plans do not offer retiree health insurance, many of our members will rely on Medicare as their primary source of health insurance. It is imperative this important program remain solvent so that those who choose to serve our nation and communities have the health coverage they deserve.
NAPO Attends Hill Briefing on Mental Health First Aid
On March 24, NAPO attended a briefing on the Hill regarding improving police response to persons affected by mental illness, specifically, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training for law enforcement. MHFA is an 8-hour course that gives officers the skills to help someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis and provides officers with effective response options in order to de-escalate incidents without compromising officer and public safety. It is viewed as a complimentary training to Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs, which are collaborations between law enforcement officers and mental health experts that focus on diversion and treatment.
Law enforcement officers are increasingly on the front lines in responding to and intervening in mental and behavioral health crises. Officers must be given the tools and training they need to identify and respond to mental health issues in the communities they serve. For these reasons, NAPO strongly supports federal funding and programs to help agencies establish CIT programs and train their officers to better respond to these situations. MHFA is a resource that is widely available that departments can use as a basis to support improved responses and outcomes to interactions between police officers and persons affected by mental illness. More information on MHFA can be found at www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org.
If you have any questions about the briefing, please contact Andy Edmiston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAPO on the Hill: Meeting Democratic Judiciary Staff
NAPO, together with other major national law enforcement organizations, continued to make the rounds last week, meeting with key House and Senate staff to discuss our priority legislation for this Congress, in particular, pro-law enforcement legislation we want to see moved leading up to or during National Police Week. Given the timeframe, the legislation we want to move during Police Week are those bills that are bipartisan and have the support of their committees of jurisdiction so that they can move quickly to the House and Senate floors.
We met with senior Committee staff for House Judiciary Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI). Specifically, we discussed the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Improvement Act, the Back the Blue Act, the American Law Enforcement Heroes Act, the Protecting Lives Using Surplus (PLUS) Equipment Act, and draft legislation that we are working on that would address state and local law enforcement’s access to mental and behavioral health services, including peer mentoring programs. (Please visit NAPO’s website, www.napo.org, for more information about each of these bills which have been profiled in past Washington Reports.)
Ranking Member Conyer’s staff was wary about several of our priority bills, particularly those that have limited bipartisan (Democratic) support in the House, including the PLUS Equipment Act and the Back the Blue Act, which he indicated Democrats would most likely not support moving through the Committee. However, staff indicated they support moving a few of our bills through Committee during National Police Week in a bipartisan fashion, expressing great interest in the draft mental health legislation, the PSOB Improvement Act and the American Law Enforcement Heroes Act.
We look forward to working with all Committee members to pass those strongly bipartisan bills and we will continue to push for increased bipartisan support for those bills that provide greater protections to law enforcement officers. We refuse to let partisanship stand in the way of these important issues getting the hearings and attention they deserve. If you have any questions about NAPO’s meetings on the Hill or the bills addressed, please contact Andy Edmiston at email@example.com.
TOP COPS Law Enforcement Sponsorship
TOP COPSis quickly approaching. The 24th Annual TOP COPS Awards® will take place on Friday, May 12. This year we will be presenting the TOP COP Awards® at a dinner immediately followed by a reception at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.
We hope you will be able to join us in Washington, D.C. to honor these outstanding men and women. To support our efforts in producing a deserving tribute, we are asking all NAPO members to please consider becoming a Law Enforcement Organization Sponsor. For a $3,000 tax deductible donation, member organizations will receive:
- 10 Tickets to the Awards Dinner
- 10 Tickets to the Reception immediately following
- Full-page advertisement in the TOP COPS program
- Recognition at the ceremony
- Recognition on the NAPO website
- Recognition in the Washington Report
To support this year’s TOP COPS Awards® please return
the sponsorship form to NAPO by April 7, 2017.
We hope you will help us this year in honoring America’s Finest at the 24th Annual TOP COPS Awards®. As always, please don’t hesitate to contact NAPO’s Director of Events, Elizabeth Loranger, at (800) 322-6276 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns. We look forward to seeing you in May!
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.