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Washington Report – May 23, 2019

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: May 24, 2019

Police Week Legislation

NAPO President Mick McHale

NAPO celebrated many victories with legislation benefiting law enforcement during National Police Week May 15, 2019. Congress passed H.R. 2379 to permanently reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program at $30 million per year. The bill was presented to the President, who signed it into law May 23; The Senate passed the Protecting America’s First Responders Act (S. 1208) by voice vote May 16. This legislation would make it easier for public safety officers disabled in the line of duty to qualify for the Public Safety Officer’s Benefits (PSOB) Program’s disability benefits, in addition to several other important programmatic changes; The Senate passed the Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis (STOIC) Act (S. 998) on May 16. NAPO worked closely with Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) on this legislation, which would reauthorize and revitalize a Department of Justice (DOJ) grant program for law enforcement officer family-support services that expired in 2000 and was last funded in 2005. The STOIC Act will also expand the grant program’s eligible uses for mental-health and support needs of law enforcement officers, especially as it relates to suicide prevention; Attorney General Barr announced the creation of the State and Local Law Enforcement Coordination Section (SLEC-S) within the Office of Legislative Affairs. The SLEC-S will be responsible for ensuring that DOJ leadership is informed of state and local law enforcement’s top priorities and ensure the Department has an impactful presence within the law enforcement community; and Jeffrey Rosen was sworn-in as Deputy Attorney General (DAG), replacing Rod Rosenstein who resigned on May 11. NAPO endorsed Mr. Rosen for DAG after our President Mick McHale and Executive Director Bill Johnson had a long conversation with him. Mr. Rosen understands that border control, transnational crime and the opioid epidemic impact the work of state and local law enforcement as much as federal law enforcement and that the partnership and support of the DOJ is vital to our efforts to keep our communities and officers safe. For more on these and other legislative initiatives, please click on the May 23, 2019 Washington Report below.

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