NAPO’s Executive Director Speaks at James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Reauthorization Act Press Conference; NAPO in the News; NAPO Meetings on Capitol Hill: James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Reauthorization Act, Rafael Ramos & Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of and BVP Grant Program Reauthorization Act; Measure Introduced to Combat Mental Health Crisis in Criminal Justice System; Letter on Tax Reform Working Group on Savings & Investments; Civil Asset Forfeiture; 2015 Lobby DayApril 20, 2015
NAPO’s Executive Director Speaks at James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act Press Conference
NAPO’s Executive Director, Bill Johnson, speaks with a bipartisan group of lawmakers at a press conference to introduce the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act.
On April 14, 2015, NAPO’s Executive Director, Bill Johnson, joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers from across the country in a press conference to introduce the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act. Johnson stood with Senators and Representatives from across the nation as he urged members of Congress to pass this critical piece of legislation.
After nearly a decade long fight to stand by our first responders who answered the call of duty on September 11th, Congress finally fulfilled its moral obligation in late 2010 and provided our 9/11 heroes with the health care and financial compensation they deserved by passing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. With the Zadroga bill’s two critical programs – the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund – set to expire in October 2015 and October 2016 respectively, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act would permanently extend 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 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 has expended all available efforts to reintroduce and garner support for this important legislation. We will continue to work with fellow stakeholders to pass this legislation as expeditiously as possible. (NAPO’s letter of support is attached to this report for your convenience and review).
If you have any questions about this legislation, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
Gillibrand, Kirsten. "Bipartisan Group of U.S. Senate and House Lawmakers From Across the Country Introduce Critical Reauthorization of James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act." Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Official Site. N.p., 14 Apr. 2015. Web. 14 Apr. 2015.
"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.
NAPO in the News
Last week, NAPO’s Executive Director, Bill Johnson, was quoted in an ABC News article regarding officer worn body cameras. In the article, Johnson explained that body cameras are not a cure all for tensions between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. Johnson stressed: “We think it’s important for the public to be educated…what cameras can do and their limitations. They are not a panacea and can’t answer every question.”
The full article is available at the following site: http://abc27.com/2015/04/17/why-body-cameras-are-not-the-answer-to-trustworthy-policing/.
NAPO continues to work to build relationships between officers and the communities they serve, as we evaluate new body camera policies. NAPO continues to stress the importance of including state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as law enforcement leadership, in discussions regarding body camera requirements. We also continue to note that body camera requirement decisions should be made on an agency-by-agency basis.
NAPO is closely monitoring new policies and legislation regarding officer-worn body cameras, and will provide our members with updates as they become available.
Johnson’s statement on the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act (below) was also included in numerous press releases:
“The National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) strongly supports the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act. This legislation will not only reauthorize programs to provide critical medical treatment and compensation for 9/11 heroes, but it 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.”
The full press release is available at the following link:
If you have any questions about body camera policies or the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act, please contact Bill Johnson at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAPO Meetings on Capitol Hill: James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act
On April 16, 2015, NAPO met with senior staffers for Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Gary Peters (D-MI) to provide information on the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act. In addition to providing background on the legislation (see above for additional details), NAPO noted that individuals are participating in the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program in all 50 states and 429 of 435 Congressional districts.
NAPO also stressed that the WTC Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund must be made permanent. Many first responders and survivors have chronic WTC-related illnesses requiring long term care, and some will have delayed onset of illnesses. These heroes must have access to every resource available as they cope with illnesses caused by their contact with toxic substances at Ground Zero.
NAPO will continue to work with other stakeholders to garner support for this legislation. If you have any questions about our efforts, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
NAPO Meetings on Capitol Hill: Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of & Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act
Last week, NAPO joined other stakeholders in meetings with senior staffers for the following members of Congress: Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), and Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA). The meetings focused on the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act and the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Program Reauthorization Act. (Senators Cardin and Graham and Congressman Reichert are sponsors of the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act).
The Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act would assist with the establishment of a nationwide Blue Alert system to apprehend violent criminals who have injured or killed police officers or who have made an imminent or credible threat to cause serious injury or death of a law enforcement officer. Blue Alerts also could be issued when a suspect is wanted in connection with a law enforcement officer who has gone missing in connection with his or her official duties. Based on the success of the Amber Alerts for missing children, a nationwide Blue Alert system would be used to disseminate critical information to law enforcement agencies, the public, and the media.
Each day, more than 900,000 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe. Tragically, sometimes the unthinkable happens and a police officer is seriously injured, killed, or goes missing in the line of duty. In such instances, the rapid dissemination of important critical, time-sensitive information about suspected criminals is essential to keeping our communities safe.
The Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act is named in honor of two New York City Police Detectives, and NAPO members, who were assassinated while sitting in their police patrol car in December 2014. Their killer posted threats to law enforcement on social media before the attack. Implementing a nationwide Blue Alert system would help to ensure that information on credible threats, like those posted by the individual who killed Detectives Ramos and Liu, is widely disseminated so that officers have advanced warning, and can apprehend the criminal before he or she can do more harm.
NAPO continues to work closely with the Blue Alert legislation’s sponsors to garner support for this legislation. Our efforts have been successful thus far. On March 26, 2015, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act on a voice vote.
NAPO also discussed the BVP Grant Program Reauthorization Act with the aforementioned staffers. This legislation would extend the authorization of the BVP Grant Program through fiscal year 2020, and ensure that America’s law enforcement officers are provided with the life-saving protection they need.
The BVP Grant Program is a critical resource for state and local jurisdictions. Over the past decade, this vital program has enabled the protection of over one million officers. However, while many officers are protected by bullet-resistant armor, an alarming number of officers, many in small departments across the United States, are not afforded this same protection due to local budget constraints. Reauthorizing this program would help to ensure that our officers are protected.
Like the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act, our efforts to move the BVP Grant Program Reauthorization Act forward have been successful. On March 26, 2015, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the BVP Grant Program Reauthorization Act on a voice vote.
NAPO will continue to work with the legislation’s sponsors to expeditiously pass both of these pieces of legislation. We will keep our members updated on our efforts. If you have any questions about these bills, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Ben Cardin - Senator for Maryland." Senator Cardin. N.p., 4 Mar. 2015. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.
Senator Franken & Congressman Doug Collins Introduce Bipartisan Measure to Combat Mental Health Crisis in Criminal Justice System
On April 16, 2015, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA) introduced bipartisan legislation to make communities across the country safer by improving access to mental health services for individuals in the criminal justice system who need treatment.
By helping the nation's criminal justice system work with its mental health system, Senator Franken and Congressman Collins' bill, the Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act, would help reduce the rates of repeat offenders and improve safety for law enforcement officers.
The Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act 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.
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 and Congressman Collins 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: email@example.com.
"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.
Letter to Senate Finance Committee Tax Reform Working Group on Savings and Investments
NAPO joined fellow stakeholders on the attached letter to the Senate Finance Committee Tax Reform Working Group on Savings and Investments. As you will see, the letter urges the Working Group to ensure that any changes to the federal tax code in the area of savings and investment continue to support the ability of state and local governments to successfully design, invest, finance, and manage their public employee retirement systems.
NAPO will continue to work with fellow stakeholders in the Pension Protection Network to engage members of Congress on the topic of state and local pensions & retirement security.
If you have any questions about this letter, please contact Bill Johnson at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Civil Asset Forfeiture
On April 15, 2015, the Senate Judiciary Committee examined civil asset-forfeiture laws, which allow law enforcement to seize money from criminal organizations. The hearing focused on appropriate uses of the practice and legislative reforms to improve it.
Before the hearing, NAPO joined other stakeholders in a meeting with the Department of Justice to provide feedback and get more information on changes to civil asset forfeiture policy. NAPO will continue to stay engaged on this issue, and ensure our members’ voices are heard as policy reforms are considered.
If you have any questions about our engagement on this issue, 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.
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.