NAPO participated in a question and answer session hosted by the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) regarding draft national accreditation standards, as required by Section 19 of President Biden’s Executive Order on Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety. The COPS Office has been tasked with developing the standards independent credentialing bodies must consider, as well as standards they should consider, when accrediting law enforcement agencies. A law enforcement agency accredited under different criteria will not be considered accredited by the DOJ; NAPO participated in a meeting with the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Dr. Rahul Gupta, and other national law enforcement organizations, to discuss the 2023 National Drug Control Strategy and for ONDCP to get an understanding of the most pressing drug-related issues facing the law enforcement community; The Department of Justice announced that Colonel Hugh Clements Jr. will be the next director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). Colonel Clements is a 40-year veteran of the Providence (Rhode Island) Police Department, where he started as a patrol officer and eventually rose through the ranks to be named Chief of the Department in 2012 and promoted to the rank of Colonel. Additionally, from what we have discovered, he also enjoyed a good working relationship with the union representing the Department’s rank-and-file officers; As it is the start of a new Congress, NAPO is working on getting our priority legislation reintroduced. To date, the Thin Blue Line Act (H.R. 130), the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 82), the Qualified Immunity Act (H.R. 233), the SERVE Our Communities Act (H.R. 304), the Back the Blue Act (H.R. 355), the Fighting PTSD Act (H.R. 472), and the LEOSA Reform Act (H.R. 355) have been reintroduced. NAPO is working to reintroduce the Public Safety Retirees Healthcare Protection Act, the Project Safe Neighborhoods Reauthorization Act, the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, the Expanding Health Care Options for Early Retirees Act, the Invest to Protect Act, and the Recruit and Retain Act in the coming weeks; NAPO priority legislation, the LEOSA Reform Act, H.R. 354, was reintroduced this Congress by Congressman Don Bacon (R-NE). NAPO worked with Congressman Bacon to introduce the LEOSA Reform Act in the 116th Congress to address specific issues that well-qualified active and retired law enforcement officers are facing when exercising their right to protect themselves and others under the law; Congressman Bacon reintroduced the Back the Blue Act, H.R. 355, which is a priority for NAPO. Many of our members work for jurisdictions that receive federal funding and this legislation will help to bring federal resources to bear in the prosecution of those who attempt to murder or murder any of these officers; NAPO once again pledged our support for the Fighting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Act, H.R. 472, reintroduced by Congressman David Joyce (R-OH). The Fighting PTSD Act compliments the Public Safety Officer Support Act by addressing PTSD before it gets to the point where an officer is completely debilitated by it or contemplates suicide. The bill recognizes the prevalence of PTSD within the public safety profession and the need to address PTSD and acute stress disorder among officers to make certain they get the treatment and help they need.
For more on these and other legislative issues, please click here for the Jan. 27, 2023 Washington Report.