NAPO's Executive Director Participates in Labor/Management Roundtable; NAPO Supports the Don't Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act; NAPO Meetings on Capitol Hill; NAPO Supports the JFVTA; NAPO Meets with ONDCP; House Leadership Changes; Immigration Policy; & TOP COPS NominationsNovember 24, 2014
NAPO WASHINGTON REPORT
NAPO’s Executive Director Participates in Labor & Management Roundtable Discussion
NAPO’s Executive Director, Bill Johnson, participated in a Labor & Management Roundtable Discussion in Philadelphia on November 20, 2014. Law enforcement leadership from across the country participated in the meeting, which included the following individuals:
- Ron Davis, Director, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
- Tyler Izen, President, LAPPL
- Ray Hunt, President, HPOU
- Rick Van Houten, President, FWPOA
- Charles Ramsey, Police Commissioner, Philadelphia Police Department
The following topics were covered during the discussion:
- Recruiting & Retention
- Staying Competitive
- In many places, city officials and the public are growing increasingly reluctant to support funding for police departments. As a result, agencies are finding it difficult to provide the sort of compensation and benefits that will attract people to policing. Discussion focused on how management and labor leaders can work together to present their needs and secure more support from city officials and the public.
- Staying Competitive
- Strategies for Promoting Policing as a Long-Term Career
- Management and labor leaders agree that many of today’s young people do not view policing as a long-term career option. The group discussed how management and labor leaders can work together to change this perception and what agencies can do to improve the retention of younger officers.
- Social Media: Use & Considerations
- Developing Social Media Policies
- Law enforcement agencies are using social media to engage with the community and disseminate important information. However, some agencies have encountered problems with officers posting inflammatory or sensitive material online. The group discussed how agencies can maximize the benefits of social media while maintaining the downsides. There was also discussion on what social media policy should include and to what extent agencies can control what an officer posts online.
- Officer Wellness
- Improving Physical and Mental Wellness
- Although management and labor leaders agree on the importance of promoting officer wellness, there are still many obstacles that prevent officers from coming forward and seeking help when they have a problem. The group discussed how agencies can reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, as well as what strategies management and labor leaders can develop to strengthen the response to mental health concerns.
- Body Armor and Seatbelt Use
- Impact of Body Armor and Seatbelts on Officer Safety
- Research shows that body armor and seatbelt use can help reduce officer injuries and deaths. In recent years, nearly 40% of officers killed in the line of duty were not wearing body armor, and nearly 40% killed in traffic accidents were not wearing seatbelts.
- Impact of Body Armor and Seatbelts on Officer Safety
- Improving Physical and Mental Wellness
- Developing Social Media Policies
- Developing Body Armor and Seatbelt Policies
- The group discussed policies regarding body armor/seatbelt use. Discussion focused on how management and labor leaders can reach a consensus on “mandatory wear” policies, as well as the impact mandatory wear policies have on death/disability benefits. There was also discussion on what language should be included in body armor/seatbelt policies.
- Increasing Body Armor and Seatbelt Use
- Even in agencies that have mandatory body armor/seatbelt policies, there is still a problem with ensuring that officers comply. The group discussed steps that management and labor leaders can take to encourage body armor and seatbelt use.
If you have any questions about this discussion, please contact Bill Johnson at: email@example.com.
NAPO’s Executive Director Appears on The Sean Hannity Show
Over the past week, NAPO’s Executive Director, Bill Johnson, has been interviewed on policies related to recent incidents in Ferguson, Missouri. Johnson continues to emphasize the importance of considering Officer Wilson’s due process rights.
Johnson’s interview on The Sean Hannity Show is available at the following site:
Also, please find Johnson’s interview with Voice of America at the following site:
If you have any questions about these interviews, please contact Bill Johnson at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAPO Supports the “Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act”
On November 22, 2014, NAPO signed on as a supporter of Congressman Erik Paulsen’s (R-MN) “Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act,” a companion bill to Senate legislation, which was endorsed by NAPO. The Senate bill passed the Senate without opposition on September 18, 2014.
This legislation 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.
NAPO looks forward to working with Congressman Paulsen to pass this important legislation. If you have any questions about this bill, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
NAPO Meeting on Capitol Hill – Congressman Brady’s Staff
On November 20, 2014, NAPO met with Congressman Kevin Brady’s (R-TX) staff to discuss the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act of 2014 (H.R. 5697), which Congressman Brady introduced with Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA) on November 13, 2014. This legislation would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), and correct Social Security benefits for public servants. The main tenets of the legislation are as follows:
- Permanently repeals the current WEP and replaces it with a new and fair formula that treats public servants like the rest of American workers
- Guarantees public servants receive the benefits they earned while they paid into Social Security
- Reduces the WEP by up to 1/3 for current retirees, and up to ½ for future retirees – increasing lifetime Social Security benefits by between $20,000 and $32,400 (as estimated by the Social Security actuary)
- Does not impact the Social Security trust fund
NAPO is currently reviewing this legislation, and will keep our members updated on the status of the bill. If you have any questions about the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
United States. Cong. House. Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act. 113th Cong., 2nd sess. H. Doc Washington, D.C.: Congressman Kevin Brady, 2014. Print..
NAPO Meeting on Capitol Hill – Congressman Crowley’s Staff
On November 20, 2014, NAPO met with a senior staffer for Congressman Joe Crowley (D-NY). NAPO used the meeting 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.
James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act: NAPO expressed appreciation for the Congressman’s support of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act. 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.
NAPO appreciated the opportunity to meet with the staffer, and we look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Crowley and his staff in the future. If you have any questions about any of the bills summarized above, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
NAPO Participates in Teleconference on Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act
On November 19, 2014, NAPO participated in a teleconference, led by staffers for Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), to discuss strategies to move the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act forward. This legislation, sponsored by Senator Cornyn and Congressman Poe, was passed by the House in May 2014 and by the Senate Judiciary Committee as an amendment in September 2014. This legislation will 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 has worked closely with senior staffers for Senator Cornyn and Congressman Poe to advance this bill, and plans to use the remaining days of this Congress to continue to pursue the passage of this bill.
If you have any questions about the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAPO Meets with Office of National Drug Control Policy
On November 20, 2014, NAPO met with senior advisors at the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). A component of the Executive Office of the President, ONDCP was created by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. ONDCP advises the President on drug-control issues, coordinates drug-control activities and related funding across the Federal government, and produces the annual National Drug Control Strategy, which outlines Administration efforts to reduce illicit drug use, manufacturing and trafficking, drug-related crime and violence, and drug-related health consequences.
NAPO appreciated the opportunity to meet with senior advisors at ONDCP, and looks forward to continuing to work with the office in the future. If you have any questions about this meeting, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
House Appropriations Committee - Commerce-Justice-Science
On November 20, 2014, House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) announced the 12 House Appropriations subcommittee chairmen (known as “cardinals”) approved by the House Republican Steering Committee. Among them is Texas Republican John Culberson, who is slated to become the next chairman of the House Appropriations Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) Subcommittee.
NAPO has met with Congressman Culberson’s staff in the past to discuss our top priorities, and we plan to continue to engage the Congressman and his staff to ensure our priorities remain at the topic of the agenda. If you have any questions about this the CJS Subcommittee, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kim, Anne. "Culberson to Be Next House C-J-S 'Cardinal' - Technocrat." CQ Roll Call, 20 Nov. 2014. Web. 21 Nov.2014. <http://blogs.rollcall.com/technocrat/culberson-to-be-next-house-c-j-s-cardinal/?dcz=emailalert>.
NAPO Participates in Comprehensive Law Enforcement Review Project Teleconference
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. On November 19, 2014, NAPO participated in the following teleconference to move the project forward:
- Policy Reform & Implementation: This week’s discussion focused on information sharing.
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: email@example.com.
President Obama’s Announcement on Immigration Policy
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive actions to grant work permits and temporary reprieves from deportation to as many as five million undocumented immigrants. NAPO continues to closely study this issue, as we understand the concerns our members have voiced in regard to federal government immigration policy, especially our members in the Southwest region.
We will keep our members updated on this issue, including any forthcoming Congressional actions. If you have any questions about this issue, please contact Bill Johnson at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Democrats Re-Elect Pelosi, Leadership Team for 114th Congress
House Democrats voted on November 18th to reinstate their full slate of leaders in the 114th Congress.
With secret ballots, the full caucus selected Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California to serve her eighth-straight term at the very top of the House Democratic Caucus power structure.
Democrats also re-elected Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland and Assistant Leader James E. Clyburn of South Carolina.
Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra of California and Vice-Chairman Joseph Crowley of New York will each serve another two years in their current roles. Unless another position opens up at the table in the 115th Congress, it could be Becerra’s last term in leadership: He is term-limited at the end of 2016.
Crowley, meanwhile, has more years ahead of him if he serves out this second term as vice-chairman and then runs to succeed Becerra as chairman.
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: email@example.com.
Dumain, Emma. "Democrats Re-Elect Pelosi, Leadership Team for 114th Congress." Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, 18 Nov. 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <http%3A%2F%2Fblogs.rollcall.com%2F218%2Fhouse-democrats-pick-their-leaders-for-114th-congress%2F%3Fdcz%3Demailalert>.
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: 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.