THE WASHINGTON REPORT

THE WASHINGTON REPORT

08/06/2021

NAPO Washington Reports

Police Reform Negotiations Continue; House Democrats Attempt to Pass Police Reform in DOJ Appropriations; NAPO Participates in COPS Office Law Enforcement Listening Session; NAPO Participates in DOJ Officer Safety & Wellness Group Meeting; NAPO Delegates Approve 2021 Resolutions; NAPO Partners with American Intercontinental University System for Degrees Anytime, Anywhere;

August 6, 2021

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Police Reform Negotiations Continue

Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) continue to meet to negotiate language to go with their agreed to framework for police reform.  Staff from both sides have been passing proposals back and forth in the hopes of having legislative language agreed to before the Senate adjourns for August recess, which could be as soon as next week. NAPO continues to be involved in the process from the Republican side, providing our feedback and comments on draft proposals. 

For weeks, staff has been hashing out language regarding issues such as the Department of Defense 1033 Program, the use of chokeholds, no-knock warrants, and certification and accreditation for law enforcement officers and agencies.  As for our biggest priority issue, qualified immunity, Senator Scott remains in strong opposition to eliminating it for individual officers being a part of any agreement.  We appreciate Senator Scott’s continued hard line against touching qualified immunity and continue to press him, the other negotiators, and members of Congress to preserve this legal protection for officers. 

We are also working to ensure that no provision of Senator Booker’s June 9 draft proposal is included in the final compromise.  While many consider that proposal dead, we do not agree as Senator Booker remains the lead negotiator for the Democrats in the Senate.  We view the fight against that proposal one we cannot afford to lose.

NAPO is doing everything we can to safeguard the individual rights of officers.  In addition to qualified immunity, we are also working to protect long standing, constitutional good faith legal protections for officers, ensure officer due process is protected, officer privacy and confidentiality rights are guarded, and the rights of law enforcement to bargain over accountability and disciplinary actions is not eroded.

With the Senate likely to leave for August recess within the week, we remain actively involved with the staff, Senators and Representatives participating in negotiations to ensure our members voices are heard.

House Democrats Attempt to Pass Police
Reform in 
DOJ Appropriations 

The House attempted to take up the Fiscal Year 2022 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill, H.R. 4505, which funds the Department of Justice (DOJ), prior to adjourning

for August recess on July 30.  The spending measure includes significant funding for NAPO’s priority grant programs, but it also attempts to pass provisions of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 1280) as part of the bill.  Further, it includes seriously concerning preconditions and requirements that state and local agencies must comply with to receive grant funding. 

H.R. 4505 requires state and local governments, as a prerequisite for receiving any FY 2022 COPS or Byrne JAG funds, to comply with nine conditions aimed at improving police practices, including eliminating racial profiling and implicit bias; eliminating excessive force and chokeholds; eliminating “no-knock” warrants in drug cases; and eliminating contractual arrangements, including collective bargaining agreements, that prevent investigations of law enforcement misconduct.  Not only does NAPO have serious objections to these provisions, but we also believe that the requirements, which must be met by the FY 2022 grant cycle, will effectively “defund” law enforcement agencies who rely on federal funding. 

There is no conceivable way municipalities and agencies would be able to comply with the prerequisites in that time frame and even if they are able to comply with eight out of the nine, they still would be ineligible for funding for non-compliance with the ninth.  It would not only be law enforcement agencies that would be hurt by these provisions but also community programs, drug courts, mental health and substance abuse programs, to name a few, that depend on these funds for their operations. It would disrupt state and local criminal justice systems.

NAPO sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on July 13, which was copied to all members of the House, outlining our concerns with H.R. 4505 and its provisions that attempt to pursue the goals of the partisan George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and attach strings to these programs, particularly the Byrne JAG Program and the COPS Program.  We are urging the House to leave police reform policies to those currently negotiating reform legislation and out of the appropriations process. 

NAPO joined the Major County Sheriffs of America, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the National Sheriffs Association, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association and the National District Attorneys Association in a letter sent to House leadership on July 27 making the same argument: that police reform should be left to the negotiators and that the preconditions in the bill will cause state and local law enforcement agencies to lose out on much-needed federal funding.

In addition to the letters, NAPO supported amendments offered by Representatives John Rutherford (R-FL) and Pete Stauber (R-MN) that would have repealed the grant preconditions and mandates as well as remove the funding for a national police misconduct registry, which was undefined in H.R. 4505. 

Our efforts were successful as House Democrats did not have the votes to take up and move H.R. 4505, as currently written, prior to adjourning for recess thus postponing action on the bill until September.  NAPO’s letter was picked up by CQ.comwhich ran an article highlighting our concerns with the police reform provisions within H.R. 4505.  

House Democrats passed nine of the twelve appropriations bills prior to adjourning for recess, with the more controversial spending measures – CJS, Homeland Security and Defense – remaining.  The Senate has just started to take up its versions of the various appropriations bills and will most likely not pass any of the bills prior to adjourning for recess the week of August 9.  In addition to funding the government, Congress has a lot on its plate to get done before the end of this fiscal year on September 30, including infrastructure, possible police reform, and suspending or increasing the country’s debt limit.  With all of this, it is expected that Congress will pass a short-term continuing resolution prior to the end of the fiscal year on September 30, to fund the government at FY 2021 levels.  NAPO will continue to work with Congressional appropriators to ensure that police reform measures included in H.R. 4505 are not included in the final spending package.

NAPO Participates in COPS Office
Law Enforcement Listening Session

NAPO participated in a law enforcement feedback session with the Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), focused on how to ensure the Collaborative Reform Initiative Technical Assistance Center (CRITAC) and the Critical Incident After-Action Review and Enhanced Organizational Assessment technical assistance programs are useful to state and local law enforcement agencies.  CRITAC provides customized technical assistance for a range of issues impacting law enforcement agencies from active shooter response to community engagement to officer safety and wellness and everything in between at no cost to the requesting agency.  CRITAC, which was created under the Obama Administration, unfortunately became widely seen as a “consent decree light”.  The COPS Office is looking to revamp the program and related technical assistance programs to shed that moniker and ensure the CRITAC program provides assistance that is collaborative and useful to the requesting agency.

Issues discussed included possible criteria or requirements for participating agencies, roles and expectations of participating agencies, what methods should be used for community engagement, how should “success” be defined, timeframes for assessments, and how should the COPS technical assistance and organizational assessment be provided so it is most useful to agencies.

NAPO appreciates the ability to provide input on the CRITAC Program and the Critical Incident After-Action Review and Enhanced Organizational Assessment technical assistance programs and our strong relationship with the COPS Office.  We look forward to continue working with our partners at the COPS Office to ensure the CRITAC Program provides the assistance that is truly needed by state and local law enforcement so they can better serve and protect their communities.

NAPO Participates in DOJ Officer Safety &
Wellness 
Group Meeting

NAPO participated in several virtual meetings on July 20, 22 and 27 of the National Officer Safety and Wellness (OSW) Group, which is comprised of federal, state and local law enforcement associations and agencies, research organizations, and the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office, Bureau of Justice Assistance and National Institute of Justice within the Department of Justice (DOJ).  The aim of the OSW Group is to better understand and respond to the range of issues associated with improving officer safety and wellness.

The past few meetings have been focused on the issues of officer mental wellness and resiliency as well as suicide prevention.  This session also touched on these issues under the larger topic of the COVID pandemic in addition to tackling the questions regarding the biggest challenges law enforcement agencies were faced in handling the pandemic and what were the best practices in the field that helped agencies meet or overcome them, and what can agencies do to prepare for the next future sustained crisis.  The meeting mainly focused on small and medium departments with less resources as well as management decisions and actions.  NAPO continually pushed for chiefs and sheriffs to involve rank-and-file officers and their representative unions or associations in the decision-making process as agencies look to better support officers and their families. 

NAPO also made clear the importance of supporting officers publicly, especially after a critical incident.  Standing by officers after a use of force incident, particularly when public sentiment is against them, will do more for officer morale and recruitment and retention efforts than any behind the scenes support provided.

NAPO will continue to participate in the National Officer Safety and Wellness Group to ensure that rank and file officers get the support and resources they need to protect and take care of themselves and the communities they serve. 

The COPS Office publishes a report after every Officer Safety and Wellness Group meeting to highlight the issues discussed, best practices agreed to and questions that still need to be answered.  The report from the last Officer Safety and Wellness Group Meeting in March 2020 can be found here. 

NAPO Delegates Approve 2021 Resolutions

At NAPO’s 43rd Annual Convention in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on July 20-23, 2021, NAPO delegates approved eight resolutions marking the Association’s legislative and policy priorities for the next year. The resolutions concern NAPO’s positions on qualified immunity, law enforcement collective bargaining rights, officer due process, efforts to defund the police, Section 242, and prosecuting those who attack or harm law enforcement officers at the local, state and federal level:

Resolution concerning the need to protect qualified immunity – NAPO will exert every effort to safeguard qualified immunity for the men and women in law enforcement who put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities. Protecting qualified immunity will ensure that violations of known rights continue to be punished and those officers who performed their duties reasonably are shielded from harassment.

Resolution in support of protecting law enforcement officers' right to bargain over accountability and disciplinary actions – NAPO will actively oppose restrictions to law enforcement collective bargaining rights as we are not willing to accept substandard rights for officers, setting them apart from their counterparts in public safety and public service, and take steps backwards from where we are today.  NAPO will continue to work with Representative Pete Stauber (R-MN), sponsor of the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act (H.R. 3225), to expand basic collective bargaining rights – including the right to negotiate over disciplinary actions – to all public safety officers.

Resolution concerning the need to assure due process prior to adding an officer to a national decertification index – NAPO urges Congress to assure that due process is a precondition to including any law enforcement officer on a national decertification index.

Resolution in opposition of efforts to defund police – NAPO opposes efforts to “defund the police” and calls on Congress to fully fund vital state and local law enforcement grant programs, without strings, to allow states and localities to retain qualified officers and hire additional officers to focus on community policing and to ensure officers, departments and the communities they serve have the tools and training necessary to improve responses and outcomes to interactions with persons affected by mental illness and substance abuse.

Resolution opposing lowering the thresholds for federal criminal civil rights violations – NAPO opposes any efforts to lower or expand the thresholds for federal criminal civil rights prosecutions and we will continue working to protect law enforcement officers who are out on our nation’s streets, operating in good faith, trying their best to protect the people who work and live in our communities. 

Resolution calling on the swift prosecution of those who attack or harm law enforcement officers – NAPO urges federal, state and local prosecutors to swiftly and fully prosecute those who attack or harm law enforcement officers to ensure that those who would contemplate doing so receive the message that such acts are unacceptable and will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Penalizing those who violently target law enforcement officers will make important differences in the attitudes of criminals toward public safety officers and ensure protection for the community.

Resolution calling for the federal prosecution of those who attack or harm federally funded law enforcement officers – NAPO calls on the Department of Justice and the Offices of United States Attorneys across the country to federally prosecute those who threaten or harm law enforcement officers whose positions are supported by federal funding, including, but not limited to the COPS Hiring Program, Byrne JAG and other grant programs through the Departments of Justice and Homeland security, and whose agencies receive such funding.

Resolution calling on the Department of Justice to federally prosecute those who threaten or harm law enforcement officers – NAPO urges the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division to use current law and statutes to the fullest extent possible to prosecute those who commit crimes against law enforcement officers.  Division staff must work collaboratively with law enforcement and ensure federal prosecution, where applicable, of those who commit crimes against officers.

These resolutions reflect NAPO’s current work as well as ongoing priorities to protect our members’ rights, safety and benefits. We will keep our members up to date as we continue to work on these priority issues.

NAPO Partners with American Intercontinental University
System for Degrees Anytime, Anywhere

NAPO has partnered with the American Intercontinental University System to offer members and their family’s educational opportunities at Trident University International and American Intercontinental University.

Trident University International is a 100% online, regionally accredited institutaion1. Trident offers Associate, Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral degree programs within four colleges in the areas of Business, Health and Human Services, Education and Information Systems.   

Complete a degree ANYTIME and ANYWHERE, with support services from dedicated staff.  Over 80% of our faculty hold doctoral degrees and instruct using the case-based teaching model, which drives students to develop their critical thinking, problem-solving, and writing skills; a skill set that is so important in today’s workforce.    

Benefits of Trident University International  

  • Complimentary Evaluation of your College Credits  
    • You may already have college credits! As a police officer you may have completed a ton of training and classes. Your law enforcement training can be evaluated for college credit   
  • Monthly Starts   
  • 8-week courses  
  • Up to 26% tuition savings   

Trident allows working adults to complete their degree while balancing work and family commitments.  

American Intercontinental University for 50 years, AIU (regionally accredited institutaion1) has offered specialized, flexible degree programs to students around the globe. The University is committed to developing curricula designed to provide students with career preparation in business, criminal justice, education, information technology, design, and healthcare management.

Today, AIU operates campuses in Atlanta, GA and Houston, TX as well as Online.

Benefits of American Intercontinental International 

  • The Law Enforcement Advanced Standing Program (LEASP) allows law enforcement personnel who have successfully completed a state approved law enforcement academy or related training program the eligibility to receive up to 36 credits towards a criminal justice degree at AIU. 
  • 5-week courses for undergraduate students and 10-week for graduate students
  • Up to 26% tuition savings

For more information about these programs visit www.trident.edu/napo or www.aiuniv.edu/napo or contact Mrs. Caterina Swaggerty Caterina.Swaggerty@Trident.Edu

1.   Trident and AIU are part of the American InterContinental University System, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org), a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. 

2.   Transfer credit is evaluated on an individual basis. Not all credits are eligible to transfer. See the University Catalog for transfer credit policies. 

 Please monitor NAPO’s website, www.napo.org, and Facebook page: National Association of Police Organizations, and follow us on Twitter at NAPOpolice for breaking news and updates.

 

 

Police Officer Entrance Exam Pre-registration and Application

The City of Hurst Police Department, a Civil Service Department, is seeking Police Officers. Applicants must pre-register for the Police Officer Entrance Examination and apply for the Police Officer position online at:

www.hursttx.gov/openpositions

Written Exam Date: Saturday, August 28, 2021, 9:00 a.m.

Application Deadline: Thursday, August 26, 2021, 5:00 p.m.

Minimum Qualifications:

•   United States Citizen
•   At least age 21 at time of testing
•   A person who is 45 years of age or older may not be certified for a beginning position in the Police Dept.
• High school diploma or GED and completion of 60 hours from an accredited school, college or           university with a grade point average of 2.0 or better.
•   Vision correctable to 20/20 - no color blindness
•   Normal hearing
•   Must be licensable by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement
•   Good moral character
•   Stable employment history
•   Valid Texas Driver's License (or able to obtain one)
•   Pass:  

            1. Physical assessment test

            2. Written examination

            3. Psychological examination

            4. Medical examination with drug screen

            5. Background investigation

            6. Oral interview

            7. Polygraph test

            8. Typing test

Starting Annual Salary: $72,925 increasing to $79,850 at completion of probationary period.

Application Instructions: Pre-register/apply online at www.hursttx.gov/openpositions. Upon successfully submitting your application, you will receive a confirmation email. Applicants must also review Minimum Qualifications and Disqualifications for the position at www.hursttx.gov/policecareers, and then click on “Becoming a Police Officer.”

The City of Hurst is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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