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News New Legislation

Washington Report – Sept. 30, 2019

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: October 1, 2019

NAPO strongly opposes the Eric Garner Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act (H.R. 4408), which would ban the use of “chokeholds” specifically stating “the application of any pressure to the throat or windpipe which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air” would be a civil rights violation. Police agencies across the country already ban the use of “chokeholds” as a means of less-than lethal force. Instead, officers are trained in vascular neck restraints to control a non-compliant or actively resistant individual if de-escalation techniques do not work. H.R. 4408 also threatens to ban vascular neck restraints, which places officers and public safety at risk. Further, “chokeholds” are a vital tool when use of deadly force is justified; NAPO met with staff of Representatives Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Garret Graves (R-LA), who are leading the effort to move the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 141) forward in the House. This legislation, which would totally repeal both the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), continues to be a top priority for NAPO; House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) introduced the Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act (H.R. 4540), which would reform the WEP to reduce its impact on public employees’ Social Security benefits. It’s designed to more accurately account for years a public employee paid into Social Security versus the years paid into a public pension system; NAPO met with Senate Commerce Committee staff to promote the Kelsey Smith Act, which would require telecommunications companies to give law enforcement information about the location of a subscriber’s phone when there is an emergency involving the risk of death or serious physical injury. Twenty-four states have passed their own versions of the Kelsey Smith Act and NAPO is working to ensure Congress passes a federal minimum standard for telecommunications companies to respond to police emergency geolocation requests so every state has speedy access to this vital information in emergency situations; The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY 20 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Act. The bill continues strong funding for state and local law enforcement assistance programs, including NAPO’s priority grant programs.

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