Register by May 1 for NAPO’s 2023 Lobby Day Legislative Breakfast & Legislative Awards Luncheon, which is Thursday, May 11 on Capitol Hill. This is a great opportunity to lobby Congressional Representatives and Senators on behalf of your members concerning the issues which affect law enforcement; The House passed a joint resolution (H.J.Res. 42) April 19 that would overturn a District of Columbia (D.C.) police reform law, the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act (CPJRAA), by a vote of 229-189. The joint resolution is not expected to be taken up by the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Biden has stated he will veto the bill if it makes it to his desk. NAPO has some serious concerns with the CPJRAA that was enacted by the D.C. City Council on Jan. 19, 2023. Most significantly, this Act is an attempt by the Council to strip officers of their Constitutional rights in the name of police reform. We sent a letter to House leadership in support of the House resolution and laying out our concerns with the D.C. law; NAPO's Police Week legislative priorities include: Legislation to enhance officer safety by increasing penalties for the murder, attempted murder, or assault of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers (Back the Blue Act and Protect and Serve Act), legislation to improve qualified officers’ ability to carry under the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA Reform Act), legislation aiding state and local agencies to hire and retain qualified officers (Recruit and Retain Act and Invest to Protect Act), a bill to cover exposure-related cancers under the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program (Honoring Our Fallen Heroes Act), and legislation to provide public safety officers with access to affordable homeownership (HELPER Act). NAPO is also urging House leadership to take up the Fighting PTSD Act under suspension of the rules during Police Week; On April 18, NAPO participated in a Recruitment and Retention Convening held by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and led by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office. The meeting focused on identifying short-term responses and long-term strategies in support of law enforcement agencies and their efforts to recruit and retain qualified professionals; NAPO has thrown its support behind the Providing Childcare for Police Officers Act (H.R. 2722), which was spearheaded by NAPO member organization, the San Diego Police Officers Association (SDPOA). This legislation is an important part of the solution to the law enforcement recruitment and retention issues. Through grant funding, this Act would help agencies establish childcare centers specifically tailored for law enforcement officers, accommodating nonstandard hours and meeting their financial needs; During a Senate Finance Committee hearing April 19, Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), sponsor of the Putting First Responders First Act, secured a commitment from IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel that the IRS will end improper audits on disabled first responders. While the Putting First Responders First Act, which codified existing IRS regulations making public safety service-connected disability compensation exempt from Federal income taxes, was signed into law last year, it will not take effect until 2026; NAPO pledged support for the Pretrial Release Reporting Act that would require the DOJ to issue a report to Congress within 180 days detailing information on individuals released on bail and pretrial release from state courts charged with violent felony offenses; Senators Tim Scott (R-SC), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Jack Reed (D-RI), the leadership of the Senate Banking and Senate Armed Services Committees, introduced the Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act, which will enhance current law so U.S. government agencies can more effectively disrupt illicit opioid supply chains and penalize those facilitating the trafficking of fentanyl; NAPO once again pledged its support for the Combating Violent and Dangerous Crime Act, which would address ambiguities and conflicting application of existing criminal statutes by clarifying congressional intent, giving law enforcement and prosecutors the tools they need to deter and punish violent crimes.
For more information on these and other legislative issues, please click here for the April 28, 2023 Washington Report.