NAPO’s Executive Director Participates in FEMA Roundtable Discussion & Meets with ATF Leadership; Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act Passes Senate; Feinstein-Kirk Amendment to Stop Online Sex Trafficking Passes Senate; NAPO Supports Comprehensive Justice & Mental Health Act; NAPO Meetings on Capitol Hill; Crime Victims Fund; NAPO Attends Blue Mass Steering Committee Meeting; LEADS Act; Loretta Lynch Confirmed by Senate; 2015 Legislative Update & Capitol Hill LobbyingApril 27, 2015
NAPO’s Executive Director Participates in FEMA Roundtable Discussion
On April 23, 2015, NAPO’s Executive Director, Bill Johnson, joined other law enforcement groups in a FEMA roundtable discussion, which included FEMA’s senior Law Enforcement Advisor, Roberto Hylton; FEMA Administrator, W. Craig Fugate; Acting Associate Administrator for Policy & Program Analysis, David Bibo; and Assistant Administrator for Grants Programs, Brian Kamoie.
The roundtable was used to discuss the advancement of the principle of a shared responsibility and the “Whole Community” approach to the practice of emergency management that embraces the reality that all disasters are inherently local and it takes all aspects of a community to effectively prepare for, respond to, and recover from any disaster. The “Whole Community” is an approach to emergency management that reinforces the fact that FEMA is only one part of our nation’s emergency management team. All resources must be utilized in preparing for, protecting against, responding to, recovering from, and mitigating against all hazards.
In furthering the “Whole Community” approach, FEMA is engaging law enforcement associations to ensure there are necessary capabilities in place to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. The group also discussed federal grant programs, and how FEMA interacts with state and local grant programs.
NAPO appreciated the opportunity to participate in this meeting, and looks forward to continuing to work with FEMA leadership in the future. If you have any questions about this meeting, please contact Bill Johnson at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAPO’s Executive Director Meets with ATF Leadership
On April 23, 2015, NAPO’s Executive Director, Bill Johnson, met with the Deputy Chief, (Dean Kueter), and Supervisory Special Agent, (Ross Arends), of the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Office of Public and Governmental Affairs.
During the meeting, Mr. Kueter and Mr. Arends expressed their goal of developing a stronger relationship between ATF and state and local law enforcement. They want to continue to educate and inform state and local law enforcement members on how ATF can be helpful in enhancing their mission.
NAPO looks forward to continuing to work with ATF, and will keep our members updated on helpful resources and new policies that will impact law enforcement. If you have any questions about this meeting, please contact Bill Johnson at: email@example.com.
NAPO Victory! Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act Passes Senate
On April 22, 2015, the Senate unanimously approved the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (99-0). This package, which includes nearly all of the trafficking bills passed overwhelmingly by the House in January 2015, would provide much needed services to domestic victims and help ensure that child victims ensnared in the sex trade are no longer arrested and treated as criminals.
This legislation would boost support for and protection of victims of human trafficking by increasing law enforcement resources, enhancing victims’ services, and increasing penalties in an effort to combat child sex trafficking, child pornography, sexual exploitation, and human trafficking.
NAPO expended all available efforts to ensure this legislation passed the Senate, and we are thrilled with this victory. To continue these efforts, last week, NAPO participated in a teleconference with staffers for the legislation’s Senate and House sponsors, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), to discuss strategies to ensure this bill passes the House. We will continue to work with other stakeholders to urge that the House pass this legislation as soon as possible.
We will keep our members updated on the status of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. If you have any questions about this legislation, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAPO Victory! Feinstein-Kirk Amendment to Stop Online Sex Trafficking Passes Senate
On April 22, 2015, an amendment offered by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) Act, was passed by the Senate (97-2). The SAVE Act aggressively combats Internet sex trafficking and the selling of children under the age of 18 for sex. It is being included in the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (see above for more information).
The SAVE Act makes it a crime for a person, such as the owner of a website, to knowingly advertise a commercial sex act with a minor. Websites like Backpage.com provide a platform for this type of sex trafficking advertising, earning more than $30 million a year from their illicit ads, and ultimately contribute to the selling and exploitation of minors.
NAPO expended all available efforts to garner support for this amendment, and we are thrilled that it passed. If you have any questions about the SAVE Act, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
"Feinstein-Kirk Amendment to Stop Online Sex Trafficking Passes Senate." Feinstein-Kirk Amendment to Stop Online Sex Trafficking Passes Senate. United States Senator Dianne Feinstein, 22 Apr. 2015. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.
NAPO Supports Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act
Last week, NAPO sent the attached letter to Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA) to express our full support for the Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act. This legislation would improve outcomes for the criminal justice system, the mental health system, and for those with mental health conditions by doing the following, among other things:
- Extending the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA), and continuing support for mental health courts and crisis intervention teams;
- Authorizing investments in veterans treatment courts, which serve arrested veterans who suffer from PTSD, substance addiction, and other mental health conditions;
- Supporting state and local efforts to identify people with mental health conditions at each point in the criminal justice system in order to appropriately direct them to mental health services;
- Increasing focus on corrections-based programs, such as transitional services that reduce recidivism rates and screening practices that identify inmates with mental health conditions;
- Supporting the development of curricula for police academies and orientations; and
- Developing programs to train federal law enforcement officers in how to respond appropriately to incidents involving a person with a mental health condition.
Last week, NAPO also participated in a teleconference with other stakeholders to discuss strategies to move the Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act forward.
NAPO worked closely with Senator Franken and his staff to pass a similar bill through the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 113th Congress. We look forward to working with Senator Franken, Congressman Collins, and other stakeholders to pass the Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act during this Congress.
If you have any questions about this legislation, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Collins Introduce Bipartisan Measure to Combat Mental Health Crisis in Criminal Justice System." Al Franken-Senator for Minnesota. N.p., 16 Apr. 2015. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.
NAPO Meetings on Capitol Hill: Congressman Pascrell’s Staff
On April 24, 2015, NAPO met with a senior staffer for Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ). NAPO used the meeting to express appreciation for the Congressman’s support of law enforcement, including his support of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act, James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act, and the Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act.
NAPO also provided information on the Ax the Tax on Middle Class Americans’ Health Plans Act. Beginning in 2018, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act imposes a new 40% annual excise tax on taxpayers who are covered by high-cost, or “Cadillac” health insurance plans. NAPO continues to fight against the impending “Cadillac” health insurance plan tax, as the new tax will negatively impact public safety officers across the nation. This bill would repeal the “Cadillac Tax,” and ensure public safety officer and their families are not unduly burdened.
Additionally, NAPO discussed officer-worn body camera policies, as well as the Department of Defense’s Excess Property Program, the 1033 Program.
NAPO explained that law enforcement leadership must be included in discussions regarding officer-worn body camera policies. NAPO also stressed that decisions regarding officer-worn body cameras must be made on an agency-by-agency basis due to the many details and technical aspects that must be considered when implementing body camera requirements. Details to consider when considering officer-worn body cameras policies include: privacy concerns, storage costs, Freedom of Information Act requests, public expectations of this technology, and much more.
NAPO also noted that the vast majority of equipment provided under the 1033 Program is defensive in nature. Furthermore, the program enables law enforcement departments to garner equipment that they would otherwise be unable to afford. Changing the 1033 Program to limit the equipment available to law enforcement agencies across the nation could limit officers’ ability to keep our communities safe.
NAPO appreciated the opportunity to meet with Congressman Pascrell’s staff. We look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Pascrell and his staff in the future.
If you have any questions about this meeting, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
Crime Victims Fund
Last week, NAPO joined fellow stakeholders on the attached letter to Senate and House Budget Committee leadership, requesting they include a provision in the final Budget Resolution to ensure adequate sums are disbursed from the Crime Victims Fund while protecting a robust fund for the future.
For victims to truly heal, it is critical they have access to needed crisis and recovery services, many of which are made available because of funding provided by the Crime Victims Fund. Congress created the Crime Victims Fund in 1984 based on a simple idea: money the government collects from those who commit crimes should be used to help those victimized by crime. Each year, criminal fines and penalties collected in federal court are deposited into the Crime Victims Fund. The Department of Justice (DOJ) disburses money from this fund to states and other entities to support victim compensation and assistance programs. It is important to note that the Fund receives no tax dollars.
In 2000, Congress passed a law capping disbursements from the Crime Victims Fund. The original intent was to prevent fluctuations in disbursements. However, since that time, the caps have been set too low to meet the needs of victims; deposits have skyrocketed while disbursements have remained almost flat. For example, from fiscal year 2010 through fiscal year 2014, $12 billion was deposited into the fund, but only $3.6 billion was disbursed. The remainder of that money remained in the fund to be used as a budget offset. DOJ projects that in fiscal year 2016, the offset from the Crime Victims Fund will be approximately $13.5 billion.
Congress raised the cap for fiscal year 2015 to over $2.3 billion. We would like to build upon this progress and ensure that disbursed funds keep pace with deposits in order to meet the needs of victims of crime.
NAPO also supports legislation providing a consistent funding stream with fewer fluctuations by requiring DOJ to disburse from the Crime Victims Fund the average of the past three years’ intake—an estimated $2.6 billion for fiscal year 2016.
If you have any questions about this letter, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAPO Attends Blue Mass Steering Committee Meeting
On April 21, 2015, NAPO participated in the second committee meeting on the 21st Annual Blue Mass. The Blue Mass is held each year at the beginning of National Police Week at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. Representatives of federal and local law enforcement and public safety agencies from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area attend the Blue Mass to pray for those in law enforcement and fire safety, remember those who have fallen, and support those who serve.
This year’s Blue Mass is scheduled for Tuesday, May 5, 2015, at 12:10pm.
If you have any questions about the Blue Mass, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
On April 20, 2015, NAPO participated in a law enforcement stakeholder meeting regarding the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act (LEADS Act), sponsored by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Congressman Tom Marino (R-PA).
The LEADS Act would extend the statutory reach of an Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) warrant, enabling law enforcement to obtain data stored overseas for U.S. persons. Law enforcement would also be able to obtain the content of electronic communications stored by non-U.S. persons either through an ECPA warrant, if the content is stored in the U.S., or an improved Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) Process.
NAPO continues to closely monitor this legislation, and will keep our members updated as it moves forward. If you have any questions about this legislation, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loretta Lynch Confirmed by Senate as Attorney General
On April 23, 2015, the U.S. Senate voted (56-43) to confirm Loretta Lynch as the 83rd U.S. Attorney General. On April 27, 2015, Lynch was sworn in by Vice President Biden during a ceremony at the Department of Justice.
Lynch is an experienced prosecutor with deep relationships inside the Justice Department and a long history of litigating political corruption, terrorism, and organized crime cases.
NAPO looks forward to working with Attorney General Lynch, and will continue to ensure that our members’ voices are heard as new policies that will impact law enforcement officers are considered. If you have any questions about our interactions with Department of Justice leadership, please contact Bill Johnson at: email@example.com.
2015 Legislative Update and Capitol Hill Lobbying: May 13, 2015
Please join NAPO on May 13th for our Lobby Day on Capitol Hill. Use this opportunity to lobby Congressional Representatives and Senators on behalf of your members concerning the issues which affect law enforcement. Prior to lobbying Capitol Hill, plan to attend NAPO’s Legislative Breakfast for an update on NAPO’s legislative priorities, results to date from the 114th Congress, and to receive handouts to use during Hill visits. While on Capitol Hill, be sure to stop by NAPO’s Congressional Awards Luncheon in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, where several Congressmen and Senators will be recognized for their continued support of law enforcement.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
For assistance setting up Capitol Hill appointments, please contact Melissa Nee at: (800) 322-6276 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Registration Fee of $125.00 per person includes the Legislative Update Breakfast, Handouts, and Congressional Awards Luncheon. Advanced Registration is required to attend the Awards Luncheon.
Please contact Elizabeth Loranger, NAPO’s Director of Events, at (800) 322-6278 or email@example.com, if you have any questions regarding the seminar or hotel arrangements.
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.