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Washington Report – April 9, 2020

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: April 15, 2020

House Democrats are pulling together their priorities for a phase 4 coronavirus stimulus package (“Phase 4”) and NAPO is working to ensure the needs of members are reflected in it. As the second and third coronavirus response packages Congress passed in March are being implemented, NAPO is working to fix several issues that have arisen in Phase 4. The first concerns how the federal government is implementing the new coronavirus-related paid sick leave policy passed as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and its impact on first responders. The second regards the allocation of $850 million in Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding through the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) program and the need for additional, direct funding to local agencies. NAPO is also pushing for hazard pay for first responders on the front line of this public health crisis; NAPO is urging Department of Justice leaders to issue a new policy memorandum for the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program stating any public safety officer who perishes from COVID-19 is presumed to have contracted the virus in the line of duty, and are thus eligible for PSOB death benefits; On April 1, NAPO Executive Director Bill Johnson testified before the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice Working Group on Law Enforcement Recruitment and Training about NAPO’s priorities. This includes the need for agency leadership and politicians to publicly support officers as the current media environment is detrimental to retention and recruitment, Johnson said, highlighting NAPO’s support for increased penalties for violence against officers; The 27th Annual TOP COPS Awards® Dinner is rescheduled for Sunday, Oct. 18 at the JW Marriott Beach Resort in Marco Island, Florida, held in conjunction with NAPO’s Attorney Seminar. Check NAPO’s website in early summer for details and updates; NAPO supports the Helping Emergency Responders Overcome Emergency Situations (HEROES) Act, H.R. 6433, which would provide a temporary federal income tax holiday for first responders making up to $150,000 annually from Feb. 15 through June 15, 2020. The tax holiday would cover law enforcement officers, corrections officers, firefighters, EMT’s, paramedics, pharmacists, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, hospital and licensed medical facility support staff, and senior care facility staff who work in a county with at least one person who has tested positive for Covid-19; The Director of the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office and Executive Director of the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, Phil Keith, penned a letter to all NAPO members on the work of the COPS Office and the Commission and the importance of NAPO’s partnership. Please see the letter below.

For more details on these and other legislative issues, please click on the April 9, 2020 Washington Report and related links below.


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