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  • New FOP Legislative update

    TO: Federal Law Enforcement Officers Employed by the U.S. Department of Defense
    FROM: Lou Cannon, Chairman, Federal Officers’ Committee
    DATE: 4 March 2011
    RE: H.R. 324 and Efforts on Implementing the LEOSA Improvements Act for DoD Officers

    http://www.fop.net/legislative/issue...mo20110304.pdf

    During the Day on the Hill event I had an opportunity to speak with National President Chuck Canterbury, Executive Director Jim Pasco, and staff in the National Legislative Office to get an update on the efforts to properly implement the Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act (LEOSA) Improvements Act (S. 1132/PL 111-272) for civilian law enforcement officers employed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) as well as their efforts in support of H.R. 324. The purpose of this memorandum is to pass this information along to our members employed by DoD.

    Proper Implementation of S. 1132 (now PL 111-272)

    In October of last year, National President Canterbury sent a letter to Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense, stating that the recently enacted law, the LEOSA Improvements Act, does impact civilian law enforcement officers employed by the Department. He also requested a meeting to address this and other issues related to statutory arrest authority, and the role of law enforcement within DoD.

    National President Canterbury has not received a response from Secretary Gates. The National Legislative Office did receive a letter from Sharon H. Cooper, the Director of Human Resources Activity, within DoD, but it was unresponsive on every point. It is likely that National President Canterbury will write Secretary Gates again in an effort to get a response.

    At the request of the National Legislative Office, Judiciary Committee staff working for Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the committee, initiated contact with the DoD to resolve the issue. His staff ultimately began a dialogue with John F. Awtrey, Director of the Office of Law Enforcement Policy and Support at DoD. The Judiciary staff explained how the law was crafted to ensure specifically that civilian law enforcement officers employed by the DoD were included in the definition of “qualified active and retired law enforcement officer.” Director Awtrey reiterated the position of the Department that, without statutory arrest authority, its officers did not meet the definition. Despite disagreement on this point from a purely legal perspective, Director Awtrey acknowledged that if the words “or apprehension” were to be inserted after the word “arrest” throughout 18 USC 926B and 926C that the Department’s civilian law enforcement officers would certainly meet the LEOSA definitions.

    While Chairman Leahy’s staff agrees with the FOP that the current law certainly does include civilian law enforcement officers employed by the Department of Defense, they are willing to recommend that “or apprehension” be added to the statute with an amendment. Chairman Leahy’s staff and that of the National Legislative Office have already reached out to staff in the offices of Senators Carl M. Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services, and Senator James H. Webb, Jr. (D-VA), a member of the Armed Services Committee and a former Secretary of the Navy. Senator Jefferson B. Sessions III (R-AL) is a senior member of both the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Armed Services, and he has been briefed on this issue as well.

    In the meantime, the Judiciary staff and DoD officials will continue their dialogue on this point and the National FOP will also continue its efforts to establish one.

    It has been brought to the attention of the Federal Officers’ Committee, the Federal Officers’ Coalition, and the National Legislative Office that other organizations are also writing letters to the U.S. Attorney General and various officials within components of the DoD. None of these organizations were at all involved in the enactment of the original LEOSA, nor the most recent passage of S. 1132. They are unlikely to be of any real help in settling this issue simply because they haven’t the experience with the law or the active support of Capitol Hill. It is the hope of the National Legislative Office that they don’t make things worse.

    Lobbying Efforts on H.R. 324

    Prior to the start of the 112th Congress, the National Legislative Office initiated contact with the office of Representative J. Randy Forbes (R-VA). Representative Forbes is an FOP ally and was the sponsor of H.R. 3572, the companion bill to S. 1132. One of the chief differences between the two bills was that H.R. 3752 included “or apprehension” after arrest, so Rep. Forbes was very familiar with this issue. Further, he is a member of the new majority in the House and sits on both the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Armed Services.

    Staff in the National Legislative Office were also in touch with staff in the office of Representative Robert E. Filner (D-CA), a long-time advocate for Federal law enforcement, who introduced this bill in the previous Congress. In those conversations, they had asked Rep. Filner to hold off introducing the bill until we secured the support of Rep. Forbes and suggested, given the new majority and his favorable committee assignments, that Rep. Forbes take the lead on the bill with Rep. Filner taking the role of lead Democratic cosponsor.

    It is assumed that there was some miscommunication between Rep. Filner and his staff, as he did introduce the bill without coordinating the introduction with the FOP. The National Legislative Office released a letter of support for the bill and a press release regarding its introduction, but these occurred as a result of their monitoring the floor, not communication with the office of Rep. Filner.

    The National Legislative Office staff met again with Rep. Forbes, who is considering whether to be the lead Republican sponsor on the existing bill (H.R. 324) or introduce a new, but identical, version of the bill. This latter strategy is likely to give it a greater chance of passage because the bill is sponsored by a member of the majority.

    In the Senate, the National Legislative Office staff is engaged with Senator Webb, a former U.S. Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan Administration. It is the feeling of the National Legislative Office that having a former Navy Secretary as the lead sponsor of this bill will bring it real credibility. Senator Webb is also a member of the majority in the Senate and sits on the Committee for Armed Services. As reported above, Senator Sessions has been sympathetic to the FOP on this issue and he is being considered as the potential lead Republican on the bill.

    I want to assure all of our DoD members that the National FOP is actively engaged on this issue. I have seen some comments (on non-FOP sites and emails) criticizing the fact that H.R. 324 is not a top legislative priority of the National FOP. It is not, but our members need to understand that the designation “top legislative priority” is given exclusively to pieces of legislation which have been the subject of an adopted resolution at a National Biennial Conference. There has been one exception to this—the designation of the “Law Enforcement Officers’ Equity Act,” which was designated as such by the National Board of Trustees last spring. This decision may have to be ratified at the upcoming National Biennial Conference this August.

    Nonetheless, please be assured that this is a priority of the National Legislative Office, which is expending considerable time and effort on this bill. With our help, I am confident that we will ultimately succeed.

    Please feel free to contact me directly or the National Legislative Office if you have questions about either of these issues. Please have care not to pass on through social networks or email unfounded rumors or statements which disparage the pace of current efforts. It took twelve years to pass the original LEOSA and five to pass the recent package of amendments. Government moves slowly and its pace does not reflect the level of commitment or activity the FOP is expending in support of its members.
    Last edited by Re-Birth; 03-04-2011, 08:32 PM.
    Never ask a man if he served in the Marine Corps! If he earned the title "Marine" he will tell you, if he didn't, there is no need to embarrass him.

  • #2
    "Ultimately Succeed".....unfortunately, many of us DoD officers have no desire nor paitence to wait 5 to 12 years for the parity we deserve as Federal law enforcement officers. While I commend the OP and the FOP for taking the time to recognize and support our cause in these matters, I am not confident in meaningful changes in our favor anytime in the immediate future or even a few years down the line. Many DoD officers will move on to other Fed agencies before then, I am sure.......
    Last edited by QuietPro; 03-04-2011, 08:34 PM.
    Just another squirrel, tryin' to get a nut......

    Comment


    • #3
      HR 324, is gaining momentum, there are several co sponsors to the bill, H.R. 324 has been moved out of the House Armed Services Sub-Committee for Military Personnel and into the House Armed Sub-Committee on Readiness for Civilian Issues. This bill has made more progress than any other time it was introduced.
      It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by DACP View Post
        H.R. 324 has been moved out of the House Armed Services Sub-Committee for Military Personnel and into the House Armed Sub-Committee on Readiness for Civilian Issues.
        Where can I read about this action? I know there's a document out there but haven't got my hands on it.

        Comment


        • #5
          One of my buddies who is more or less taking the lead for AFGE recived corrispondance from Congressman McKeon's office notifying him of this, not sure if it was via e-mail, phoen call or snail mail. There is a FB page, DOD Police Officers for HR 324 with 670+ members working on this issue, they represente FOP, NAG, AFGE, Management, Bargining members, and what not, a big mix of oficers working on the issue.
          It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DACP View Post
            One of my buddies who is more or less taking the lead for AFGE recived corrispondance from Congressman McKeon's office notifying him of this, not sure if it was via e-mail, phoen call or snail mail. There is a FB page, DOD Police Officers for HR 324 with 670+ members working on this issue, they represente FOP, NAG, AFGE, Management, Bargining members, and what not, a big mix of oficers working on the issue.
            Glad to hear Congressman McKeon is interested in HR324. I've emailed him a few times along with Congressman Duncan Hunter.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MCSD View Post
              Glad to hear Congressman McKeon is interested in HR324. I've emailed him a few times along with Congressman Duncan Hunter.
              Off the top of my head, I think there are 7 co sponsors, right now the push is for the members of the subcommittee, and the senate to get a sister bill introduced. We have done several radio interviews on the subject, and are gaining support from other non police groups. I have been up on the hill for a few days back in February talking to various represenitives, but my buddy Brian needs all the credit, he has been up on the hill dam near every week, pushing this, but then again he works at Andrews so he can make the short trip. Sometime during Police Week AFGE's LE steering committee is going to meet with all its members and work some more on this, there is also a picket set up for September I think nationwide to get the message out there, several members of the House have pledged their support and stated they would be on the lines with us.
              It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

              Comment

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