THE WASHINGTON REPORT

THE WASHINGTON REPORT

06/02/2023
 

NAPO Washington Reports

Special Thanks To Our TOP COPS Sponsors: DOJ Releases Final National Accreditation Standards:Register Now for NAPO’s 45th Annual Convention; Biden Vetoes Resolution Disapproving of D.C.’s Police Reform Statute; House Passes HALT Fentanyl Act;NAPO Submits Comments for Best Practices on Police-Community Dialogues; NAPO on the Hill: Tax Fairness for Workers; PSOB Cancer Coverage; Congress Passes Debt Limit Deal;

June 2, 2023
 


Special Thanks To Our TOP COPS Sponsors

PREMIER LEVEL SPONSORS
EMPOWER RETIREMENT
NATIONWIDE RETIREMENT SOLUTIONS

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BRONZE LEVEL SPONSORS
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HUNTSINGER AND JEFFER, INC.
SPECTRUM ADVISORY GROUP

DOJ Releases Final National Accreditation Standards

On May 25, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released the National Accreditation Standards, which will be used to determine if a law enforcement agency accreditation entity qualifies as an “authorized, independent credentialing body” pursuant to Section 19 of the President’s Executive Order on police and criminal justice reform. These are the standards independent credentialing bodies must consider when accrediting law enforcement agencies. A law enforcement agency accredited under different criteria will not be considered accredited by the DOJ. Agencies and departments that are accredited to these standards will receive prioritization for state and local law enforcement grant programs.

The COPS Office shared initial draft accreditation standards with NAPO back in January and we were asked to submit formal comments, feedback, and recommendations on the standards. The Executive Order (EO) is fairly prescriptive with what the accreditation standards must include so there is little wiggle room for what should or should not be considered by accrediting agencies. The EO states that the national credentialing standards must further the policies laid out in Sections 3 (Hiring, Recruitment, and Retention), 4 (Supporting Office Wellness), 7 (Banning Chokeholds and Carotid Restraints), 8 (Use of Force Standards), 9 (Anti-Bias Training and Guidance), and 10 (Restricting No-Knock Entries). Where we tried to make a difference was in how the specific standards are written, implemented, and evaluated.

In the extensive official comments on the draft standards that NAPO submitted, we underscored the issues where the guidelines deviated from current legal doctrine and standards and infringed upon officer rights, including possibly their collective bargaining rights, and areas where the guidelines may be difficult to implement. We also reiterated many of our concerns with the Executive Order that were reflected in the required draft standards, particularly around use of force standards, officer due process, restricting no-knock entries, and the banning of chokeholds and carotid restraints.

While the final National Accreditation Standards have been released, the DOJ has not yet developed the processes for implementing the standards and accrediting law enforcement agencies. The next steps will be working with stakeholders to identify accreditation standards implementation needs, options, and methods to mitigate any challenges that agencies may face. There is recognitition within the DOJ that many of these standards will be expensive to implement and may take time for departments to comply with, particularly small departments with less resources.

NAPO continues to engage with the Administration on the implementation of the EO and we will work with the DOJ on how to best enact these Standards. We will keep you apprised of these discussions and the continued execution of the various aspects of the EO.

The final National Accreditation Standards can be found here and are attached.

Register Now for NAPO’s 45th Annual Convention

July 16 – 19, 2023
Hilton’s Los Angeles Universal City Hotel

Join us for NAPO’s 45th Annual Convention in Los Angeles, California. Learn from presentations by prominent law enforcement figures about the latest developments in police policies and services and help determine NAPO’s path forward by participating in the election of NAPO’s Leadership

The 45th Annual Convention will be held at Hilton’s Los Angeles Universal City Hotel. The Hilton sits high atop the Hollywood Hills, providing stunning view of Los Angeles from all guestrooms. Located in the heart of Los Angeles' entertainment district and just a short walk to Universal Studios and theme park. The hotel is also less than half a mile to Universal City Walk Shopping and conveniently located near other famous Hollywood Landmarks. When not exploring Universal City and Hollywood, the hotel offers several bars, & restaurants, workout center, and outdoor pool with bar.

Very Special Thanks to Craig Lally and the Los Angeles Police Protective League for sponsoring many of the convention’s events. Without their financial support and tireless efforts, many of the events simply would not have been possible!

For registration and information including hotel reservations, transportation discounts, and updates to the meeting agenda and planned activities check out NAPO’s Convention webpage: www.napo.org/convention23

CLICK HERE to register
or complete and return the attached registration form by June 29

 

Biden Vetoes Resolution Disapproving
of D.C.’s Police Reform Statute

On May 25, the President vetoed the joint resolution (H.J.Res. 42) passed by Congress on May 16 that would have overturned a District of Columbia (D.C.) police reform law, the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act (CPJRAA). In his veto message, President Biden stated that while he does not agree with every provision of the CPJRAA, he would “not support congressional Republicans’ efforts to overturn commonsense police reforms”.

NAPO is disappointed with the President’s decision to veto the resolution as we have serious concerns with the CPJRAA. Most significantly, this Act is an attempt by the Council to strip officers of their Constitutional rights in the name of police reform. We believe the CPJRAA will exacerbate the current hiring and retention crisis the Metropolitan Police Department is facing. We stand with the officers of the MPD as they work to find a way to diminish the impact of the most flagrant provisions of the CPJRAA.

House Passes HALT Fentanyl Act

The House passed the Halt All Lethal Trafficking of (HALT) Fentanyl Act (H.R. 467) on May 25 by a bipartisan vote of 289-133. NAPO endorsed this important legislation as it would make permanent the current classwide scheduling of all fentanyl-related substances as Schedule 1 drugs under the Controlled Substances Act, giving law enforcement the tools and resources necessary to combat and deter fentanyl in our nation’s communities.

The spread of fentanyl in our communities is devastating. It is being mixed with already deadly illicit drugs, hidden in counterfeit drugs, and being peddled at alarmingly high rates. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 106,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2021 and opioids were involved in over 70,601 of those deaths, a significant increase in opioid-related overdose deaths over previous years. Many of these deaths were from using synthetic analogues of fentanyl.

NAPO has long fought for resources to support law enforcement’s efforts to combat fentanyl, its analogues, and similar opioids. We are urging the Senate to quickly take up and pass the HALT Fentanyl Act to help the fight against the spread of this deadly poison in our communities.

NAPO Submits Comments for Best Practices on
Police-Community Dialogues

NAPO was given the opportunity to provide feedback on the draft guidance for best practices for planning and conducting law enforcement-community dialogues to improve relations and communication between law enforcement and communities, particularly following incidents involving use of deadly force. This draft guidance is pursuant to Section 11(c) of the President’s Executive Order on police and criminal justice reform.

We did not feel that we could provide detailed recommendations or comments on the guidance because what was shared with us was only an outline that summarized longer draft guidance that was not made available. However, we shared our initial thoughts and reactions to the summary with the Administration.

While not being able to review the longer draft guidance, it was evident through the summary that it does not contain provisions on best practices for the community following a use of force incident. While we understand this Executive Order is focused on the policies of state, local, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies, we feel it would be remiss if the guidance does not mention the community and its role in improving relations. While departments have the burden to improve relations, the community should also share in that burden. Where there is no support for the rule of law, for officer due process, for the protection of officer rights or even basic respect for law enforcement within the community, it will be hard, even for the most open departments, to improve relations after an incident of deadly force.

NAPO appreciates the opportunity to provide feedback on Section 11(c) and the various provisions of the Executive Order and we look forward to continuing working with the Administration through its implementation.

NAPO on the Hill: Tax Fairness for Workers;
PSOB Cancer Coverage

As the House and Senate have alternatively been on recess and focused on suspending the federal debt ceiling, NAPO has been working to build up cosponsors for two of our priority bills: the Tax Fairness for Workers Act and the Honoring Our Fallen Heroes Act.

The Tax Fairness for Workers Act, sponsored by Representative Brendan Boyle (D-PA), would reinstate above-the-line deductions for out-of-pocket costs for workers relating to uniform purchases and maintenance as well as job-related training. It would also make union dues an above-the-line deduction.

Prior to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) in 2017, law enforcement officers were able to offset these substantial costs by deducting them from their taxable income. The elimination of these itemized deductions put an unfair financial burden on officers, who give up so much to protect and serve our communities. NAPO is working with Representative Boyle to make a push to garner as many bipartisan original cosponsors for the bill so that it can be introduced with sizable support.

The Honoring Our Fallen Heroes Act, sponsored by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), recognizes exposure-related cancers as line of duty injuries and would cover them under the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program for death and disability benefits. This bill was one of the pieces of legislation that NAPO members lobbied on during our annual lobby day on May 11th. We are following up with the offices of the Members of Congress and Senators our members met with to urge them to cosponsor this important bill.

Next week, NAPO is meeting with the sponsors of the Social Security Fairness Act to press forward with a plan to push that bill well over the 305 cosponsors it garnered last Congress in the hopes of forcing action on it. We are continually working to ensure all of our priority legislation has sufficient support within Congress in order to improve the chances of the bills being moved and ultimately enacted into law.

Congress Passes Debt Limit Deal

On June 1, Congress passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, which suspended the federal debt limit through January 1, 2025, and limited federal non-defense spending. The bill also rescinds $29 billion in COVID relief and IRS funding. With the rescissions as a back-fill, it is expected that overall non-defense spending will not face huge cuts and Fiscal 2024 spending levels will be similar to what they are in Fiscal 2023. NAPO does not expect state and local law enforcement assistance programs to be cut from current levels and we will work with House and Senate appropriators to ensure our priority grant programs are sufficiently funded in FY 24.

The bill also included a provision that would automatically cut current spending across the board if Congress has not enacted full-year appropriations measures by January 1, 2024, giving Congress plenty of incentive to avoid short term continuing resolutions and fund the government for the full 2024 fiscal year by the end of the year.

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