NAPO STATEMENT ON THE VERDICTS IN THE CRIMINAL TRIAL OF POLICE OFFICER DEREK CHAUVIN;NAPO Participates in Meeting with Attorney General and Top DOJ Officials; NAPO President Participates in Roundtable with DHS Secretary; NAPO Participates in White House Law Enforcement Meeting; Chauvin Verdict Reignites Police Reform Negotiations in Congress; President Releases FY 2022 Budget Request; NAPO in the News; National Blue Alert Network Update ; NAPO’s Legislative Positions & Sponsor/Cosponsor Updates;April 23, 2021
NAPO STATEMENT ON THE VERDICTS IN THE CRIMINAL TRIAL OF POLICE OFFICER DEREK CHAUVIN
Despite all the claims to the contrary, the criminal justice system in the United States works, even when the person accused of a crime is a police officer. The trial and unanimous conviction on all counts of former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minnesota conclusively demonstrates that officers can be, and in fact are, held to the same standards of justice as all other citizens in our nation, as they should be. At the same time, the assertions by so many who wish to demonize all police officers because of the actions of one officer have been shown to be hollow.
Due process rights do not prevent the investigation, charging, trial, and conviction of a police officer. Neither does qualified immunity. Neither do police unions, associations, or legal defense plans.
Police departments, unions, associations, prosecutors, and defense attorneys all have their proper role to play, and all citizens, including officers who accused of a crime, are entitled to their day in court and to have an impartial judge and jury weigh the evidence against them. They are entitled to have their side of the issue heard and considered. And all of us must respect the decisions of the court system when these fundamental rules of due process are applied.
We, the men and women of this Association, serve the American criminal justice system, sometimes at the cost of our very lives. We respect the verdict of the justice system in this case, and we continue to stand for the proposition that respecting the fundamental Constitutional rights of all persons accused of committing an offense, even when that person is a police officer, is no obstacle to the attaining of justice. In fact, it is the very foundation upon which justice can be obtained.
Various news outlets referenced NAPO’s statement in their coverage of the verdict, including:
NAPO Participates in Meeting with Attorney General
and Top DOJ Officials
NAPO’s President Mick McHale and Executive Director Bill Johnson participated in a meeting with Attorney General Merrick Garland, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta and other top law enforcement officials on April 23. Johnson spoke with Attorney General Garland on April 21 prior to the meeting.
The Attorney General opened the meeting by stating he wants good lines of communication and open dialogue with the law enforcement community. He stressed the importance of supporting law enforcement and police reform for he feels that better community relations equate to better policing. Further, he understands the importance of law enforcement being involved in not only the work of the Department, but also in the decisions being made by the Department that impact state and local law enforcement.
McHale and Johnson both spoke in the meeting and made the point that the Department should not wait for Congress to enact legislation to actively prosecute violent attacks on state and local law enforcement officers and must use the tools currently at its disposal. The Attorney General agreed and committed to prosecuting assaults against officers.
NAPO appreciates the opportunity to discuss our priorities for the Department of Justice with the Attorney General and top departmental officials and we look forward to open lines of communication with the Department to ensure the needs of our nation’s rank-and-file law enforcement officers are met.
NAPO President Participates in Roundtable with DHS Secretary
NAPO President Mick McHale participated in a series of law enforcement roundtable discussions with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on April 7 and 20. The purpose of these meetings was to allow Secretary Mayorkas to introduce himself to national law enforcement leadership and to hear from law enforcement what their top priorities are for DHS. NAPO Executive Director Bill Johnson participated in the final roundtable on April 22.
During one of the sessions, McHale asked Secretary Mayorkas how the Department will support state and local law enforcement agencies that are facing the brunt of the consequences of high border crossings along our Southwest border. While we recognize that an increase in immigrants coming across our border does not necessarily translate into increased crime rates, it still nonetheless puts strains on departments along the border by increasing policing activity. It also adds to an already overburdened police force and places greater personal and professional liability on officers.
NAPO represents thousands of law enforcement officers along our nation’s southern border, who have been dealing with immigration and migrant issues, transnational crime, and public safety concerns due to the increased flow of immigrants. Secretary Mayorkas understood the importance of supporting state and local law enforcement along our borders and ensuring they get the resources and help they need to continue to protect our nation’s communities. The Secretary indicated his desire for a partnership with NAPO and our members to make certain each community’s varying needs are met.
NAPO also highlighted the importance of having an open line of communication with the Secretary so we can bring issues to the attention of his office as we become aware of them in the coming months and years.
We appreciated the opportunity to meet with Secretary Mayorkas and we look forward to working with the Secretary and DHS to support law enforcement along our nation’s borders as well as on our other homeland security priority issues.
NAPO Participates in White House Law Enforcement Meeting
On April 19, NAPO’s Executive Director Bill Johnson participated in a meeting with the Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Ambassador Susan Rice, Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, Cedric Richmond, and counsel to the President, Dana Remus, and other national law enforcement representatives. NAPO was the only rank-and-file organization that participated in the meeting, which was a high-level introductory discussion around police reform.
Ambassador Rice and Director Richmond made clear that the Administration believes it is time to act on police reform and they want to partner with law enforcement on meaningful reform of the profession and the criminal justice system. The President is still planning on creating another commission, much like the 21st Century Policing Task Force created by President Obama and the Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice established by President Trump, to examine policing and the criminal justice system and recommend where the system can be improved. President Biden was supposed to sign an executive order back in February forming such a commission, but the issuing of that executive order was put off indefinitely. Johnson emphasized the importance of having the rank-and-file perspective as an active part of the Commission and the need to ensure they are represented in its work.
There was broad agreement among the law enforcement representatives that qualified immunity for officers must be protected. NAPO strongly opposes the elimination of qualified immunity for officers or any efforts to lessen that protection for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities.
With the trail of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin coming to a close at the time of the meeting, the Administration was also actively seeking local law enforcement intelligence on what is happening on the ground in our nation’s major cities regarding violent riots and unrest and who has been driving those incidents to date. Listening to those officers who are on the ground and understanding their experiences is key to ensuring law enforcement is able to safely protect our communities and the rights of our citizens to gather without violence.
NAPO appreciates the opportunity to be a part of the discussion and we look forward to working with the Administration on the creation of any criminal justice commission.
Chauvin Verdict Reignites Police Reform Negotiations in Congress
The guilty verdict for former Minneapolis, Minnesota Police Officer Derek Chauvin has reignited efforts in Congress to overhaul policing practices. Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA), the sponsor of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), the sponsor of the JUSTICE Act, have dived right in to negotiating the differences between the two bills in the hopes of coming to an agreement on a final compromise bill. The JUSTICE Act, many parts of which NAPO can support, addresses substantially the same issues as the Justice in Police Act, but does so in a way that protects officer due process rights, maintains qualified immunity, and safeguards officer privacy and confidentiality rights.
While no real details have been given on the areas where compromises have been or may be reached, there are several issues that are outstanding and present the biggest obstacles to an agreement: qualified immunity, how to govern the use of neck restraints while allowing officers to fully protect themselves and others, and state and local law enforcement’s access to surplus military equipment.
We are actively engaged with Senator Scott and Republicans on the negotiations to ensure our concerns and priorities are met in the final product, especially as regards protecting qualified immunity. Congresswoman Bass has stated that she wants to have a compromise bill to President Biden by May 25 or before Mr. Chauvin’s sentencing, which is an extremely tight timeline. We will keep our members up to date on the status of any final police reform legislation.
NAPO Webinar: Tax Efficient Retirement Income
NAPO is partnering with our longtime sponsor Nationwide to offer NAPO members an informative webinar on Retirement Planning.
Take Control of Your Retirement Planning ~ Manage Taxes on your Retirement Income
Tuesday, May 18 at 1:00 p.m. EDT
Click here to register
A tax-efficient plan in retirement requires a thoughtful approach to income planning that starts as early as 10 to 15 years prior. As participants transition into retirement, there are opportunities to make key decisions about what to do with retirement accounts and Social Security and where to take money from first. These decisions have implications that can impact the longevity of a retirement portfolio, how much income is lost to taxes and how much is left to heirs.
Nationwide’s Tax-Efficient Retirement Income(TERI) presentation provides strategies to add value to participants and to their portfolio.
If you have any questions or need additional information please contact Elizabeth Loranger at email@example.com.
President Releases FY 2022 Budget Request
On April 9, President Biden released his budget blueprint for fiscal year 2022, which outlines his major spending priorities that will be included in his proposed 2022 Budget request that is expected to be released later this spring. As it is just an outline, the blueprint is fairly vague on what programs the President wants to cut or keep, offering only little snippets of his priorities within various departments, agencies and programs.
For the Department of Justice (DOJ), much of the budget blueprint focuses on supporting police and criminal justice reform initiatives. In his budget, the President is not moving to “defund” the police, but rather he is recommending an increase in funding for certain community policing initiatives and directing that funding to supporting police reform policies and practices. For example, the proposal includes an additional $304 million to state and local law enforcement grant programs that support improving police-community relationships, including the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring program and other programs that promote community-oriented policing practices. The budget proposal seeks to promote racial sensitivity and implicit bias training as well as police innovation programs as key community policing practices that the Department will prioritize for grant funding. It also adds new conditions and priority preferences to focus grant funding to those agencies who will be using it to further police reform efforts, including requirements that the funds be used to help law enforcement agencies “mirror the racial diversity of the communities they serve”.
Additionally, the President’s budget proposal directs the DOJ to award preference points to agencies that partner with community organizations to implement community violent intervention strategies that aim to reduce gun violence through tools other than incarceration. This direction applies to the COPS Program grants and the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program, amongst others. It also includes $209 million for the Civil Rights Division, a $33 million increase over the previous year, to support police overhauls and boost the prosecution of hate crimes.
The President’s 2022 Budget represents the President’s fiscal priorities, but it is Congress that decides the final appropriations for fiscal 2022. NAPO continues to work with Congress to ensure adequate funding for our priority grant programs, while maintaining local discretion on how these funds can best be used to meeting the needs of communities. We will work with the Administration to ensure they understand the importance of these programs, and the flexibility that comes with them, to ensuring state and local law enforcement have the resources and equipment they need to effectively serve and protect our communities.
NAPO in the News
NAPO Executive Director Bill Johnson was quoted in an April 22, 2021 article for The Federalist, entitled “Staples Won’t Say If It Respects Police Who Protect LA Lakers Arena”. After LA Lakers star Lebron James’ inflammatory tweet on April 21 inciting violence against a Columbus, Ohio officer, Staples was asked if it supported the men and women who protect the Staples Center, the arena where the LA Lakers play. The company was unwilling to say if it backs the officers who work to ensure the arena, the spectators, players and employees are safe.
When asked for comment, Johnson stated, “[t]he services that the men and women in law enforcement provide in safeguarding venues like the Staples Center are vital for the health, safety, well-being, and economic vitality of our citizens, communities, cities, and nation. Individual attendees, entertainers, professional athletes, and corporations like Staples all implicitly depend upon the integrity and effectiveness of law enforcement officers who safeguard the public. Professional athletes, politicians, and corporate leaders know this, and should not be afraid to say so publicly.”
NAPO issued a statement condemning Lebron James’ irresponsible and dangerous tweet, which the NBA star has since deleted:
April 22, 2021. Alexandria, VA – LeBron James might want to listen to his own advice rather than threatening the murder of a Columbus, Ohio police officer in a tweet. What did James say regarding Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey’s tweet supporting Hong Kong protesters on Twitter in 2019? We believe it was “[w]hen you’re misinformed or you’re not educated about something, and I’m just talking about the tweet itself, you never know the ramifications that can happen.”
We’ll continue to use James’ own words to rebuke him for his dangerous and ignorant tweet targeting the officer: “So many people could have been harmed – not only financially, but physically, emotionally, spiritually. Just be careful about what we tweet, what we say and what we do. Yes, we do have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that, too.”
“For me personally,” James continued, “When I speak on something, I speak about something I’m very knowledgeable about.” Yeah, right.
James tweeted a picture of the officer with the words “YOU’RE NEXT” and an image of an hour glass with the officer’s time running out. Make no mistake about it, if the police officer did not take action to save another young woman’s life, James would likely be the first person out there claiming that racist police just stood idly by while another Black child was murdered.
Now, instead of showing even the slightest recognition that officers are sometimes put into impossible situations, he threatens the murder of the officer who was forced to act to save another person’s life.
Ignorance, even in a billionaire like James, is never pretty. But James’ display of profound ignorance coupled with a threat to murderous violence is disgusting, indeed.
The statement was picked up by The Washington Times.
NAPO will continue to ensure our members’ voices are heard loud and clear on the Hill, with the Administration, and in the media.
National Blue Alert Network Update
The Blue Alert Advisory Group, of which NAPO is a member, in conjunction with the Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office, is continuing to work on establishing Blue Alert systems in all 50 states. Currently, thirteen states and Washington, D.C. do not have Blue Alert networks. Getting Blue Alert plans up and running in all 50 states is a priority for NAPO as it ensures the National Blue Alert Network we fought so hard to get enacted as part of the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, National Blue Alert Act works efficiently and effectively to protect officers from harm. The Act was named after NAPO members Officers Ramos and Liu, who were assassinated while sitting in their police cruiser on December 20, 2014
The states that currently do not have active Blue Alert Networks are: Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. NAPO members in many of these states have been instrumental in introducing legislation to create Blue Alert plans. NAPO, together with the COPS Office, stand ready to work with stakeholders in these states to help enact such legislation. If you are interested in receiving information and resources on how to establish a Blue Alert plan or you wish to participate in the state-level working group, please contact the NAPO Office at (703) 549-0775 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to working to establish a Blue Alert plan in every state, the National Blue Alert Network tracks law enforcement officers shot, both fatally and non-fatally, in the line of duty. This data is important as the number of officers killed in the line of duty every year does not reflect the reality of how often officers are being shot. So far this year, 82 officers have been shot in the line of duty, of whom 15 have been killed; and 16 of these attacks were in ambushes. Line of duty firearms-related fatalities continue to be on the rise, making a fully functioning National Blue Alert Network key to ensuring officer safety.
NAPO’s 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/. NAPO's Legislative Positions is a document that highlights all the legislation that we have taken an official position on or are monitoring during the 117th Congress. It is continually updated to reflect the work we are doing on Capitol Hill.
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 updates this spreadsheet regularly and continues to ensure our voice is heard on Capitol Hill.
Police Officer Entrance Exam Pre-registration and Application
The City of Hurst Police Department, a Civil Service Department, is seeking a Police Officer. Applicants must pre-register for the Police Officer Entrance Examination and apply for the Police Officer position online at www.hursttx.gov/openpositions.
Written Exam Date: Saturday, May 01, 2021, 9 a.m.
Application Deadline: Thursday, April 29, 2021, 5 p.m.
• United States Citizen
• At least age 21 at time of testing
• A person who is 45 years of age or older may not be certified for a beginning position in the Police
• High school diploma or GED and completion of 60 hours from an accredited school, college or
university with a grade point average of 2.0 or better.
• Vision correctable to 20/20 - no color blindness
• Normal hearing
• Must be licensable by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement
• Good moral character
• Stable employment history
• Valid Texas Driver's License (or able to obtain one)
1. Physical assessment test
2. Written examination
3. Psychological examination
4. Medical examination with drug screen
5. Background investigation
6. Oral interview
7. Polygraph test
8. Typing test
Starting Annual Salary:
$72,925 increasing to $79,850 at completion of probationary period.
Pre-register/apply online at www.hursttx.gov/openpositions. Upon successfully submitting your application, you will receive a confirmation email. Applicants must also review Minimum Qualifications and Disqualifications for the position at www.hursttx.gov/policecareers, and then click on “Becoming a Police Officer.”
The City of Hurst is an Equal Opportunity Employer.