NAPO Washington Reports

Special Thanks to Our 2018 TOP COPS Corporate & Law Enforcement Sponsors; House Passes Protect & Serve Act; Attorney General Hosts NAPO Leaders at Police Week Reception, Speaks at Annual TOP COPS Awards®; House Passes Bill Mandating Reporting Requirements on Pre-Trial Release Programs; NAPO Attends Democratic Law Enforcement Roundtable; Senate Passes Authorization of Project Safe Neighborhoods; NAPO Participates in DOJ Law Enforcement Working Group; NAPO Recognizes Congressional Champions; House Passes NAPO-Endorsed Justice Served Act; House Judiciary Committee Approves Bill Permitting Uniformed Officers to Carry in Federal Facilities

May 22, 2018

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR 2018 TOP COPS Major Sponsors

 - Premier Level -

 JP MORGAN ASSET MANAGEMENT

 LINCOLN FINANCIAL GROUP

 MASSMUTUAL FINANCIAL GROUP

 NATIONWIDE RETIREMENT SOLUTIONS

  - Silver Level -

 AMMO INC.

 CALIFORNIA CASUALTY

 FREEDOM MORTGAGE

 HUNTSINGER AND JEFFER, INC.

 ULLICO, INC.

  - Bronze Level -

 AXON ENTERPRISE

 HUMANA

 USAA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT COMPANY


  SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR 2018 TOP COPS Law Enforcement Sponsors

$5000 Sponsorship

 New Jersey State Troopers NCO Association

 $4000 Sponsorship

 Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of The City of New York

  $3000 Sponsorship

  Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association

 Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas

 Dade County Police Benevolent Association

 Detectives’ Endowment Association, Inc. of New York City

 Detroit Police Officers Association

 Fort Worth Police Officers Association

 Illinois Police Benevolent & Protective Association

 Las Vegas Police Managers & Supervisors Association

 Las Vegas Police Protective Association

 Los Angeles Police Protective League

 Massachusetts Coalition of Police

 New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association

 Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association

 Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of The City of New York

 Phoenix Law Enforcement Association

 Port Authority Detectives Endowment Association

 Port Authority Police Benevolent Association

 Port Authority Police Lieutenants Benevolent Association

Port Authority Sergeants Benevolent Association

 Sergeants Benevolent Association of New York City

 Wisconsin Professional Police Association

$2000 Sponsorship 

Detroit Police Lieutenants and Sergeants Association

  $1000 Sponsorship

 Florida Police Benevolent Association

 Police Benevolent Association of the New York State Troopers

 State Troopers Fraternal Association of New Jersey

 Syracuse Police Benevolent Association

 Rochester Police Locust Club


NAPO Victory! House Passes Protect & Serve Act

In a victory for NAPO and law enforcement officers across the country, the House overwhelmingly passed the Protect and Serve Act (H.R. 5698) by a vote of 382-35 on May 16th.  The Protect and Serve Act provides for new criminal provisions for deliberate, targeted attacks on officers.

This bill is critical, as there is a serious and growing trend of armed attacks on law enforcement officers. According to a December 2017 report from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 2016 saw a significant increase in ambush attacks on unsuspecting officers, with 21 shot and killed. 61% of those officers were not answering a call for service or engaged in enforcement action or performing official duties – they were targeted and killed just for the uniform they wore.  12 officers were murdered sitting in their patrol cars.

NAPO has long been fighting to establish stricter penalties for those who harm or target for harm law enforcement officers. Any persons contemplating harming an officer must know that they will face serious punishments. NAPO strongly believes that increased penalties make important differences in the attitudes of criminals toward public safety officers and ensure protection for the community.

On May 13th,360 American law enforcement heroes, who gave their lives in the line of duty, were honored at the 30th Annual Candlelight Vigil. It is only fitting that the House passed the Protect and Serve Act three days later in memory of those officers and in the hope of ensuring there are fewer names added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall next year.

NAPO thanks Congressman John Rutherford (R-FL) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) for championing this legislation and for their commitment to protecting and supporting America’s law enforcement community. We now call on the Senate to swiftly take this bill up and provide officers the increased protections they deserve.

 

Attorney General Hosts NAPO Leaders at Police Week Reception, Later Speaks at Annual TOP COPS Awards®

On May 14th, NAPO’s elected officers – President Mick McHale (SW Florida PBA), Vice President John Flynn (NYC PBA), Recording Secretary Todd Harrison (CLEAT), Treasurer Scott Hovsepian (Mass COP), Sergeant-at-Arms Marc Kovar (NJSPBA), Executive Secretary Craig Lally (LAPPL), Parliamentarian James Palmer (WPPA), and Vice President for Associate Members Mark Young (Detroit Police Sgts & Lts. Assn.) – attended a reception held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice in honor of National Police Week.

Later that evening, the Attorney General was the keynote speaker at NAPO’s 25th Annual TOP COPS Awards® Ceremony and met with this year’s TOP COPS.  This was the second year that the Attorney General honored NAPO and our members by addressing the attendees of our annual TOP COPS Awards®. You can read the Attorney General’s speech to our nation’s TOP COPS here.

 

 NAPO Victory! House Passes Bill Mandating Reporting Requirements on Pre-Trial Release Programs

NAPO notched another victory on May 9th with the passage of the Citizens Right to Know Act (H.R. 2152) in the House by a vote of 221-197. Each year, millions of dollars in federal grant monies go towards state and local pre-trial release programs, which allow accused criminals to await their trial at home, rather than in jail. These programs, which in many cases serve repeat, dangerous criminals, often operate with little oversight, putting public safety at risk. The Citizens’ Right to Know Act, sponsored by Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) addresses the lack of oversight of many pre-trial release programs by mandating that federally-funded pre-trial service agencies publicly report on program participants, including if they have a history of criminal behavior, whether they appear for their trail, and whether they have ever previously failed to appear for trial. 

NAPO believes that increased oversight of these programs will decrease the possibility of the accused committing crimes while on pre-trial release or simply disappearing to avoid facing justice. As federal dollars are going towards bailing out criminals, the Citizens Right to Know Act helps ensure that the accused face justice and our communities are protected.

We thank Congressman Poe for his leadership on this issue and NAPO is working to ensure this important legislation is quickly taken up by the Senate.

 

NAPO Attends Democratic Steering Committee Law Enforcement Roundtable

On May 16th, NAPO President Mick McHale participated in an intimate roundtable discussion on the opioid epidemic and grants and funding for state and local law enforcement hosted by the Senate Democratic Law Enforcement Caucus. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-CO), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Tom Carper (D-DE) participated in the roundtable with McHale and representatives of the Fraternal Order of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Major City Chiefs Association, Major County Sheriffs of America, National Sheriffs Association and the National Organization for Black Law Enforcement Executives.

McHale called on the Senate to build on the passage of the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act and appropriate significant, dedicated funding for the peer mentoring pilot program grant established under the Act. Appropriate funding for this vital grant is necessary to adequately meet the demand for officer peer mentoring programs in cities and states across the country. McHale urged the Senators present to support officer safety and wellness programs and was the only participant to focus on this important topic.

McHale also spoke on the need for increased protections for law enforcement officers given the rise in violent attacks on officers and urged the Senate to pass the Protect and Serve Act. He was echoed by the FOP in calling for the passage of the Protect and Serve Act. The other organizations focused on the opioid epidemic, mental health issues plaguing our criminal justice system, and implementing the pillars of the 21st Century Policing Task Force.

NAPO appreciates the opportunity to participate in these important discussions and we look forward to working with the Caucus and Senate Democratic leadership to continue advancing the priority issues facing rank-and-file officers today.

 

Victory! Senate Passes Authorization of Project Safe Neighborhoods

NAPO gained another win during National Police Week with the Senate passage of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act (S. 2703), sponsored by Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Gary Peters (D-MI). Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), has brought together federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to target violent gang and gun crimes in our communities since its inception in 2001. After years of underutilization, NAPO stood with Attorney General Sessions when he announced the relaunch of this important program in October 2017 as a key part of the Department’s efforts to reduce violent crime by providing more resources and support to state and local law enforcement and ensuring those resources meet local needs. 

Although it has received funding throughout the years, PSN has never been authorized by Congress, making it susceptible to elimination.  It is important that this program be explicitly authorized by Congress to ensure that it remains a resource on which state and local law enforcement can rely. PSN has funded evidenced-based and data-driven programs to fight gangs and violent crimes in our communities such as targeted police patrols to school and community intervention programs. The Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act authorizes this vital program, ensuring that state and local law enforcement can continue to fight gang and firearms-related violent crimes in our cities and our communities in the most efficient and effective manner.

NAPO strongly supports this legislation to authorize PSN and we thank Senators Cornyn and Peters for their continued support of our nation’s law enforcement community.

 

NAPO Participates in DOJ Law Enforcement Working Group Meeting

On May 17th, NAPO Executive Director Bill Johnson participated in the second meeting of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Law Enforcement Working Group, which was put together this year by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson, head of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Director Jon Adler, and Associate Deputy Attorney General Steve Cook at the request of the Attorney General.  Along with NAPO, the Working Group consists of representatives of other national law enforcement organizations and DOJ staff and it meets quarterly to discuss relevant issues facing officers in the streets and how the DOJ can best assist its state and local law enforcement partners. NAPO is one of only two associations representing rank and file officers.

Topics discussed included asset forfeiture training; health and wellness programs for law enforcement officers, including a proposed Harvard study on dietary changes; the need for experienced law enforcement officer peer reviewers and Public Safety Officer’s Benefits (PSOB) Program appeal officers within BJA; Project Safe Neighborhoods; and a presentation by a group called “One COP” which stands for One Congregation, One Precinct, an effort out of Atlanta, GA which seeks to partner local law enforcement agencies with local houses of worship to build dialogue and trust within communities.

NAPO looks forward to our work with the Department and our fellow law enforcement partners through this Working Group.


NAPO Recognizes Congressional Champions During Annual Lobby Day

NAPO held its Annual Legislative Breakfast and Lobby Day on May 15th, 2018, during which we recognized members of Congress and their staff for their outstanding support for law enforcement. NAPO’s President Mick McHale, Vice President John Flynn, Treasurer Scott Hovsepian, Director of Governmental Affairs Andy Edmiston and Executive Director Bill Johnson were joined by NAPO members in thanking Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Congressman Peter King (R-NY) and House Judiciary Committee staff Robert Parmiter and Margaret Barr for their work on behalf of NAPO and the law enforcement community.

NAPO recognized Senator Donnelly for his incredible efforts getting the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act enacted. He recognized the stress and strain of the job and the necessity of giving officers the resources and support they need to address their emotional and mental wellbeing and he took action. Senator Donnelly’s efforts on this issue have not stopped with the enactment of the bill as he continues to push for dedicated funding for the peer mentoring pilot program established under the Act. 

NAPO previously recognized Senator Donnelly’s staff, Nicola Bunick, as well for her work on Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act.

NAPO also recognized Congressman King for his long-standing partnership and commitment to supporting the law enforcement community.  From his work to ensure the passage of such vital legislation as the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Improvement Act to the authorization and reauthorization the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, to the Law Enforcement Officers Equity Act – all priority bills for NAPO – and much more in between, Congressman King has proven to be a champion for officers and the profession. 

Lastly, NAPO recognized House Judiciary Committee majority staff – Bobby Parmiter and Meg Barr – for all their efforts to support and move NAPO’s priority legislation. It is due to their work that we have had such successful National Police Weeks for the past few years, including, but not limited to, the passage of the Thin Blue Line Act last year and the Protect and Serve Act this year.

NAPO gives a heartfelt thanks to all our Legislative Award winners for their work in support of law enforcement and for being true champions of NAPO’s legislative priorities.

 

House Passes NAPO-Endorsed Justice Served Act

In yet another win for NAPO, the House passed the Justice Served Act (H.R. 4854) with a bipartisan 377-1 vote on May 15th.  This bill, sponsored by Rep. John Carter (R-TX), amends the Debbie Smith DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act of 2000 to provide resources to help law enforcement convict guilty offenders and exonerate the innocent.  

In 2004, Congress passed the Debbie Smith Act to help end the growing backlog of untested and unanalyzed DNA evidence. Congress has since reauthorized this Act twice and passed several pieces of legislation to give state and local law enforcement agencies the resources to continue to whittle down their backlogs, grapple with the enormous task of investigating these cases and enhance crime laboratory technology.

Building on this investment by Congress, the Justice Served Act advances the criminal justice process by authorizing the use of a small percentage of funds under the Debbie Smith Act to prosecute cold cases that have been solved due to DNA forensic analysis. This legislation will ensure that victims have closure and justice is finally served.


House Judiciary Committee Approves Bill Permitting Uniformed Officers to Carry in Federal Facilities

On May 17th, the House Judiciary Committee approved the NAPO-supported Protecting Officers of the Law in Civilian Establishments (POLICE) Act of 2017 (H.R. 2561), which would permit uniformed law enforcement officers to carry agency-issued firearms in certain Federal facilities.

Currently, state and local law enforcement officers can only carry firearms on federal property when conducting “official business” or responding to an active crime situation.  Despite being granted the right to carry by the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), officers are still prohibited from carrying their firearms in federal facilities open to the general public, such as the post office, the local Social Security Administration office, or a Veterans Affairs (VA) satellite medical office, unless they are there in the course of their official duties.

A uniformed state or local officer who needs to stop by the VA office for a medical appointment during her lunch break has to lock her service weapon in her car. This creates as safety issue as the gun could be stolen out of the car. Further, at a time when ambush attacks on law enforcement officers is at a five-year high, uniformed officers must be allowed to carry their service weapons, whether they are on duty or on personal time, for the protection of themselves and those citizens in the federal facilities they are visiting.

NAPO is working with the bill’s sponsor, Congressman Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN), to move this important legislation to the House floor for a vote.  We thank House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) for his support of this legislation as it moved through Committee.

 

NAPO’s Latest Legislative Positions & Sponsor/Cosponsor Updates

NAPO’s updated “Sponsor/Cosponsor” spreadsheet is available at the following link: http://www.napo.org/washington-report/sponsor-cosponsor-spreadsheet/. The spreadsheet accompanies the latest “Legislative Positions” document, which is available at the following link: http://www.napo.org/washington-report/legislative-priorities/

The “Sponsor/Cosponsor” spreadsheet is a useful tool to check if your members of Congress have supported pieces of legislation that will impact our members. NAPO will update this spreadsheet regularly and continue to ensure our voice is heard on Capitol Hill.

If you have any questions about any of the legislation that NAPO is currently working, please contact Andy Edmiston at: aedmiston@napo.org.