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NAPO shares Biden’s planned Executive Orders, update on communications with administration

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: January 22, 2021


NAPO recently updated members on their communications with President Joseph Biden’s Administration in a letter to members below. Members are encouraged to view Biden’s planned Executive Orders the first 10 days in office, which is available in a link below.

Dear NAPO members,

We are continuing to open new, and maintain existing, lines of communication with the new Biden Administration. I’ve exchanged phone calls and texts with Vanita Gupta, who will be the new Associate Attorney General (number 3 ranking person in the U.S. DOJ) and with Kristen Clarke, who will be the new head of the Civil Rights Division. Both Ms. Gupta and Ms. Clarke have committed to maintaining open lines of communication, and, while recognizing that we may not always agree on issues, that DOJ and the Civil Rights Division will always value our input. They also both indicated a strong desire to establish good working relationships with NAPO’s police labor leaders in our member groups and associations across the country.

At the COPS Office, Director Phil Keith has stepped down after a distinguished tenure during which he was consistently and strongly supportive of NAPO and the men and women we represent. Rob Chapman, whom many of you may have met at NAPO events, is now Acting Director of the COPS Office. We’ve got a very good working relationship with Mr. Chapman.

Andy Edmiston also continues to work on the transition and policy issues, particularly with the new Congress, and also the U.S. Department of Labor. She has already provided NAPO input and advice on several new pieces of legislation, as well as potential nominees and appointments that would require Congressional approval.

You may have seen in the media that President Biden has already signed a large number of Executive Orders covering a wide area of both domestic and international policy. Attached please find a schedule of upcoming proposed Executive Orders. In particular, please note item number 1, under “Equity” on January 26. As you can see, this proposed Executive Order would create another Policing Commission, and also reinstate Obama-Biden era restrictions on “military-style” equipment (the “1033” program).

We’ve already reached out to both DOJ and the White House (it’s our understanding that the White House Domestic Policy Council is promulgating this Executive Order) to express our views and concerns on these issues. Regarding a Policing Commission, it’s vital, in our view, that any new commission include actual, serving, rank-and-file officers on the commission itself. Without such inclusion of the actual men and women who are in fact policing our streets and neighborhoods, a commission would lack the single most important perspective and source of accurate information about policing in America as it currently exists. It would be like having a National Health Care Commission that refused to have any doctors or nurses as members.

Regarding the reimposition of restrictions on the 1033 program, we are again emphasizing the need for rank-and-file input, and urging that any restrictions not be applicable to purely defensive equipment, such as helmets and shields. This is especially important given the continuing violence and attacks on officers in so many of our member groups’ jurisdictions.

Please do take a look at the attached list of Executive Orders as it will give good insight into what we can expect going forward as far as the priorities of the new administration. Please do not hesitate to contact me or Andy directly with any questions, comments, concerns.

Thanks as always for all your support for our office and staff.

Sincerely,

Bill Johnson
Executive Director, National Association of Police Organizations


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