On July 26, before heading off for a five-week recess, the Senate unanimously passed by voice vote three of NAPO’s priority bills: the Recruit and Retain Act, the Project Safe Neighborhoods Reauthorization Act, and the Strong Communities Act. NAPO has been working since these bills were approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee during National Police Week with Committee leadership, the sponsors of the bills, and staff to move them to the Senate floor for a vote and we thank them for their support. S. 546, Recruit and Retain Act would boost recruitment opportunities for state and local law enforcement agencies by expanding the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program to help agencies that are understaffed. S. 1387, Project Safe Neighborhoods Reauthorization Act of 2023 would reauthorize the Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) Program for five years, ensuring state and local law enforcement can continue to fight gang and firearms-related violent crimes in the most efficient and effective manner. S. 994, Strong Communities Act of 2023 would allow for COPS Hiring Program funds to be used to pay for local law enforcement recruits and officers to attend schools or academies if the recruits agree to serve in the communities in which they live; Registration is open for NAPO’s 2023 Legal Seminar being held Oct. 22 –24, 2023 at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe – Resort, Spa & Casino. Attendees can earn up to 12.5 Hours of CLE Credits, including 2 Hours of Ethics; NAPO supported and strongly advocated for an amendment to the Senate’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to provide much-needed funding for the 9/11 World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) and fully authorize coverage for Department of Defense military and civilians who responded to the attack on the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. The amendment was approved by the Senate 94-4 and included in the NDAA. While Congress appropriated an additional $1 billion for the WTCHP as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY 2023, that funding was still well short of the nearly $3 billion needed to make the program whole and avoid any cuts to care and services. This amendment partially addresses the remaining funding shortfall the WTCHP is set to face in Fiscal 2029; On July 27, the Senate passed its version of the NDAA for Fiscal 2024, which included the language of the Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act; On July 14, the House passed its version of the Fiscal 2024 NDAA by a largely party-line vote of 219-210. It included an amendment that NAPO supported, which would restore state and local law enforcement’s unfettered access to surplus military equipment through the Department of Defense’s 1033 Program; NAPO pledged our support for the Fentanyl Safe Testing and Overdose Prevention Act, which would help prevent deaths from fentanyl poisoning by increasing access to fentanyl test strips; Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced the American Law Enforcement Sustaining Aid and Vital Emergency Resources (SAVER) Act, which would help equip law enforcement officers with quality trauma kits so they can respond immediately and effectively if a civilian or fellow officer experiences a traumatic injury during a call.
For full details, click here for the Aug. 4, 2023 Washington Report.