NYPD Line of Duty Deaths; Register for NAPO’s 27th Annual Police, Fire, EMS & Municipal Employee Pension & Benefits Seminar; NAPO Named to President’s Task Force; Mandatory Body Armor & Seatbelt Wear Policies; NAPO Supports Zadroga Reauthorization; NAPO Meetings on Capitol Hill; Spending Package; Congress Does Not Alter Transfers of Surplus Military Gear to Law Enforcement; President Signs Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act Into Law; Scholarship Opportunity; and Nominate a TOP COPDecember 22, 2014
NYPD Line of Duty Deaths
On Saturday, New York City Police Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were assassinated by an individual who used recent events, fueled and exacerbated by the media and politicians, as justification for his actions. These officers dedicated their lives to serving the public, and we are devastated by this loss. We stand with our member group, the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, and officers from across the country, as we mourn the loss of these brave men.
As we grieve, it must be noted that the New York City PBA warned of such an incident. Politicians have created an environment of extreme hostility in communities across the nation. Our nation’s leaders continue to crucify and demonize law enforcement officers as these officers work tirelessly and selflessly to protect us. When will this end? When will our leaders work with us, not against us, to build trust between officers and the communities that they serve? Officers put their lives on the line each and every day to keep our communities safe. They need the support of our leaders.
NAPO is not going to rest until officers receive the support and the protection that they need to do their jobs and to stay alive. We urge our officers to continue to be vigilant and stay safe during this time. Many agencies are suspending single officer patrols and doubling or tripling officers on calls. Be smart. Wear your armor. Wait for backup. Trust your instincts. Check and double check your weapons and radio. Be aware of your surroundings. Cover your back and your partner’s back. Make sure you and your partner get to the end of your shift alive and unhurt. Know that the vast majority of the public supports you and keeps you in their thoughts and prayers. The public isn’t stupid, they see what’s going on, and they are grateful for your service and protection. Spare a thought for the wives who lost their husbands this weekend, and the kids who lost their dad. Know that you are American Police Officers, the very best in the world, and we WILL get through this together.
If NAPO can offer any other support, please do not hesitate to contact our Executive Director, Bill Johnson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register Today for NAPO’s 27thAnnual Police, Fire, EMS & Municipal Employee Pension & Benefits Seminar
Register today for NAPO’s 27th Annual Police, Fire, EMS & Municipal Employee Pension & Benefits Seminar presented in conjunction withthe Opal Financial Group. The seminar will take place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 25 – January 27, 2015.
At the 27th Annual Seminar, we're putting the spotlight on key issues, including pension reform and the role of unions in securing retirement, reducing healthcare costs in the midst of new regulations, revising your asset allocation strategy, what we can expect from the new, Republican controlled Congress, the outlook nationally and internationally on realistic projections of earnings and assumption rates, preservation of assets, and much more!
To ensure your spot at this important seminar, please register at your earliest convenience. Information regarding seminar registration may be found by following this link: http://bit.ly/OpalRegistration.A block of sleeping rooms has been reserved at Caesars Palace for NAPO Executive Board Members and registered seminar attendees. Room rates are $179 weekend/$129 weekday (tax and resort fee not included).To make reservations, please contact the hotel at (866) 277-5944, and let them know you are with NAPO/OPAL or make reservations online by clicking here: https://aws.passkey.com/g/35437120. In order to receive the discounted rate, please make reservations by December 26, 2014.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Elizabeth Loranger at (703)549-0775 or email@example.com.
NAPO Named to President’s Task Force
On December 18, 2014, President Obama signed an Executive Order to create the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and announced its members, which include NAPO. NAPO is the only police rank and file group in the nation to have a seat on the Commission itself. Our Treasurer, Sean Smoot, of the Illinois PB&PA, has been appointed by the President to the Commission. The following White House press announcement includes additional details on the Commission and its members: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/12/18/fact-sheet-task-force-21st-century-policing.
The fact that NAPO has a seat on the Commission is indicative of the fact that the Administration and powers in Washington know who we are, and want to hear our views. We will keep you updated on the Commission’s actions and recommendations as information becomes available.
If you have any questions about the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, please contact Bill Johnson at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAPO Meets with Fellow Law Enforcement Groups to Discuss Mandatory Body Armor & Seatbelt Wear Policies
On December 15, 2014, NAPO’s Executive Director, Bill Johnson, met with fellow law enforcement stakeholders for a follow-on discussion regarding body armor and seatbelt wear policies. This meeting stemmed from a November 20th meeting, where NAPO joined other law enforcement groups in developing an agreement on the mandatory use of body armor and seatbelts for all law enforcement agencies.
Each year, traffic accidents and firearms-related incidents are the leading causes of death among law enforcement officers who are killed in the line of duty. It is critical that we do all that we can to keep officers safe. Body armor and seatbelts have been proven to save lives and help reduce injuries to officers.
The major law enforcement groups support mandatory use of body armor and seatbelts in all law enforcement agencies. It is important to note that NAPO worked with fellow stakeholders to ensure that death benefits would not be withheld as part of sanctions in cases where officers failed to comply with mandatory armor and vest policies. Rules on penalties would be left to individual agencies to develop and enforce.
NAPO will continue to provide updates on this issue. If you have any questions about mandatory wear policies, please contact Bill Johnson at: email@example.com.
Johnson, Kevin. "Police Union, Chiefs Call for Mandatory Armor, Seat Belts." USA Today 20 Nov. 2014: n. pag. Print.
NAPO Meetings on Capitol Hill - James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act
On December 18, 2014, NAPO met with staffers for the following members of Congress to express our strong support for the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act: Congressmen John Carter (R-TX), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Ted Poe (R-TX), Bill Foster (D-IL), John Conyers (D-MI), Sander Levin (D-MI), and John Shimkus (R-IL).
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 key law enforcement stakeholders to pass this important legislation during the 114th Congress. 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 Meeting on Capitol Hill – Congressman Paulsen’s Staff
On December 17, 2014, NAPO met with a senior staffer for Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN). NAPO used the meeting to discuss the following pieces of legislation:
Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act: On November 22, 2014, NAPO signed on as a supporter of Congressman Paulsen’s“Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act,” a companion bill to Senate legislation, which was also 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 has worked closely with fellow stakeholders to advance this bill, and looks forward to working with Congressman Paulsen during the 114th Congress to pass this important legislation.
Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Program Reauthorization Act: NAPO expressed appreciation for the Congressman’s support of the BVP Grant Program Reauthorization 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.
Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act (JMHCA): NAPO thanked the staffer for the Congressman’s support of the 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.
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.
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 the staffer, and we look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Paulsen and his staff in the future. If you have any questions about any of the legislation summarized above, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
Last week, President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion spending bill, which keeps the government operating until next summer.
Many of our members have expressed concerns regarding a recent call to action from a public sector alliance, which reported in error that public pension plans would be impacted by the spending bill. Please note that language in the spending bill pertaining to pensions will NOT impact/make changes to public sector pension plans. The language pertaining to pensions included in the spending bill will impact some multi-employer private sector plans, but will not impact our members. NAPO expects legislation impacting public sector plans to be pursued during the 114th Congress. We plan to continue to work closely with fellow stakeholders to protect public sector plans.
If you have any questions about the spending package, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congress Does Not Alter Transfers of Surplus Military Gear to Law Enforcement
Lawmakers did not make major changes to a Defense Department program that allows the transfer of surplus military equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies. The fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill (H.R. 3979), which cleared Congress, leaves the surplus equipment transfer program intact.
NAPO has discussed our views of the excess property program, also known as the 10333 Program, with numerous staffers over the past several months. NAPO continues to stress 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. Ending the program would leave law enforcement departments unable to equip their officers with the necessary tools to keep their communities safe.
NAPO will continue to engage members of Congress on this issue, and keep our members updated as new information becomes available. If you have any questions about the 1033 Program, please contact Melissa Nee at: email@example.com.
O'Brien, Connor. "Congress Passes on Altering Transfers of Surplus Military Gear to Cops." CQ, 18 Dec. 2014. Web. 22 Dec. 2014. <http://www.cq.com/alertmatch/228849797?0&uid=news-4593445>.
President Obama Signs Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act Into Law
On December 18, 2014, President Obama signed the Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act into law. NAPO endorsed this legislation in October 2014, and has been recognized as a supporter in numerous publications, as well as in Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) press releases on the bill.
S.2746/H.R.669 was first introduced in Congress in 2009, by the late Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) in the Senate and Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) in the House. In its third legislation session attempt, the bill finally saw movement with a hearing in the House’s Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, in November 2013, which paved the way for full committee support and passage by the full House on September 9, 2014. In parallel, new Senate champions, Senator Brown and Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), introduced the Senate version (S.2746).
The bill was approved by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, with amendments, and saw successful passage by the full Senate on November 20, 2014. A final unanimous vote to pass the Senate-revised bill was made by the House on December 3, 2014, which led to it being forwarded to the President.
The Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act amends the Public Health Service Act to help enhance awareness about unexpected sudden death in early life. The legislation provides for consistent data collection related to stillbirths and sudden, unexpected deaths in both infants and children. By better understanding the causes of unexpected sudden death, we can do more to improve the health of all infants and children.
We are happy that we were able to assist with these efforts, and look forward to continuing to work with Senators Brown and Ayotte in the future. If you have any questions about this bill, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gotten, Valerie. "Bereaved Families Receive Special Holiday Gift as President Obama Enacts Legislation to Combat Sudden Death in Children - California Newswire." California Newswire. N.p., 18 Dec. 2014. Web. 19 Dec. 2014. <http://californianewswire.com/2014/12/18/CNW22635_153318.php/bereaved-families-receive-special-holiday-gift-as-president-obama-enacts-legislation-to-combat-sudden-death-in-children/>.
McSally Wins Race for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District
Republican Martha McSally has won the race for Arizona's battleground 2nd Congressional District after a protracted recount. McSally, who led Democratic Representative Ron Barber by 161 votes after the initial count, ultimately prevailed by 167 votes.
The Tucson-based district was represented by Democrat Gabrielle Giffords from 2007-2012, before Giffords' resignation following the shooting spree in which she was critically wounded. Barber, her former aide who was also wounded in the attack, won a special election in 2012 to succeed her and narrowly defeated McSally in the general election later that year.
Arizona's 2nd District was the nation's final unresolved congressional race. When the new Congress convenes in January, Republicans will control 247 House seats, compared to 188 for Democrats.
NAPO looks forward to working with new members of Congress in January to advance our agenda.
POLITICO. "POLITICO Breaking News." Message to Melissa Nee. 17 Dec. 2014. E-mail.
BrickHouse Security has officially announced the opening of its 2015 scholarship to benefit a current/former law enforcement officer wounded in the line of duty. The company is awarding $10,000 to an officer or family member through its annual essay scholarship competition. Additional information is available at the following link: http://www.brickhousesecurity.com/category/company+info/scholarship.do
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. The form is available here. 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.
NAPO wishes you and your family happy holidays and we look forward to working with you in the New Year!!
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.