WHAT IS THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF POLICE ORGANIZATIONS (NAPO)?
The National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) is a coalition of police unions and associations from across the United States and was organized for the purpose of advancing the interests of America’s law enforcement officers through legislative advocacy, political action and education.
Founded in 1978, NAPO is the strongest unified voice supporting law enforcement officers in the United States. NAPO represents more than 1,000 police units and associations, and more than 241,000 sworn law enforcement officers who share a common dedication to vigorous and effective representation on behalf of our nation’s law enforcement officers.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF NAPO?
Increasingly, the rights and interests of law enforcement officers have been the subject of legislative, executive and judicial action in the nation’s capital. From issues of federal funding of State law enforcement and anti-terrorism efforts to federal policy on employee health, pension and other benefits, the actions of Congress and the Administration significantly impact public safety interests. These interests must be vigorously protected in light of the vital role law enforcement officers play in maintaining the peace and security of American society. NAPO works to influence the course of national affairs where law enforcement interests are concerned.
WHAT HAS NAPO DONE FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT?
NAPO has achieved a number of solid legislative and administrative victories for its members. The following list includes examples of NAPO’s accomplishments:
- Repeal of the Excise (“Cadillac”) Tax on employer-sponsored health plans;
- Enactment of the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act, named after two NYPD Officers and NAPO members;
- Restoration of state and local law enforcements’ access to surplus military equipment through the U.S. Department of Defense’s 1033 Program and various Departments of Justice and Homeland Security grant programs;
- Enactment of the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act and the Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis Act;
- Enactment and renewal of the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA);
- Enactment of the Police, Fire, and Emergency Officers Educational Assistance Act;
- Enactment of the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act;
- Permanent Reauthorization of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act;
- Enactment of 1988 legislation, which raised the Public Safety Officers’ Benefit (PSOB) for officers severely disabled or killed in the line of duty from $50,000 to $100,000, plus annual cost of living indexing, as well as follow on legislation in 2002, which raised the PSOB base from $100,000 to $250,000. The benefit is now $389,825 for the 2022 fiscal year;
- Enactment of legislation that made the PSOB death benefit to survivors’ federal income tax free;
- Enactment of legislation that created a presumption under the PSOB Program that COVID-related deaths and disability are in the line of duty;
- Enactment of the Protecting America’s First Responders Act;
- Enactment and permanent reauthorization of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which is named after a NAPO member and New York City Detective, including the World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund;
- Enactment of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act;
- Enactment of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act (H.R. 218, right to carry legislation);
- Enactment of the Improvements to the Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act;
- Enactment of the Fair Sentencing Act;
- Enactment of the National Amber Alert Act;
- Enactment of the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act (FIRST NET);
- Enactment of the Healthcare Enhancement for Local Public Safety (HELPS) Retirees Act (allows retired public safety officers to use up to $3,000 annually from their pension funds, including defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans, to pay for qualified health insurance premiums without taxing these distributions);
- Enactment and implementation of the Hometown Heroes Act (expands coverage of the PSOB Program to include those law enforcement officers who suffer debilitating or fatal heart attacks or strokes while on, or related to, active duty or training work);
- Elimination nationwide of the “source tax” on law enforcement retirees’ incomes;
- Enactment of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (omnibus anti-crime legislation);
- Enactment of the Family and Medical Leave Act; and
- Enactment of the Don’t Tax Our Fall Public Safety Heroes Act, which ensured state death benefits to survivors of law enforcement officers are tax free.
WHAT ISSUES OF IMPORTANCE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT IS NAPO CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
In addition to NAPO’s numerous legislative victories, there are many areas where NAPO continues to fight for America’s law enforcement officers:
- Increased punishment for crimes against law enforcement officers and increased officer protections
- Full funding for vital state and local law enforcement assistance programs through the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, particularly the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program, Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne-JAG) Program, Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Program, and MIOTCRA
- Protection of officers’ pension, healthcare, and Social Security benefits
- Increased access to mental health treatment for individuals who come into contact with the criminal justice system and training for officers who encounter mentally ill offenders
- Officer-worn body camera policies and funding
- Police Reform
- Immigration and border security
- Improvement and expansion of the PSOB Program
- Federal consent decrees
- Support/oppose Judicial and Executive branch nominations based on an evaluation of the nominee’s merits in regards to the law enforcement community
WHAT ELSE DOES NAPO DO TO IMPROVE THE WELFARE OF THE LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY?
NAPO not only works to influence the course of national affairs where law enforcement interests are concerned, but we also work hard to maintain the welfare of our members in the law enforcement community.
- In 2002, NAPO established the National Association of Police Organizations Relief Fund, dedicated “to provide for the physical, medical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of law enforcement officers and their families who have suffered hardship as a result of catastrophe, storm, flood, earthquake, fire, evacuation, relocation, disaster, war, or other acts or accidents of nature or man.”
- NAPO’s Annual TOP COPS Awards®, which was first held in October 1994, recognizes sworn law enforcement officers from across the country who are nominated by their peers for outstanding service.
- NAPO established a sister 501(c)(3) research and education organization in 1991, the Police Research and Education Project (PREP). PREP has conducted research on law enforcement stress and its effect on the family after being awarded National Institute of Justice grants.
- NAPO established the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Rights Center in 1994, to protect officers’ legal and constitutional rights. The Rights Center has filed numerous amicus curiae briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts of appeal on behalf of law enforcement officers from across the country.
- NAPO is a founding member of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), and continues to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Memorial and the new National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, D.C.
- NAPO serves as a board or coalition member on more than a dozen committees, coalitions, conferences and networks working on various causes from body armor design and usage to crime prevention to preserving retirement security.
NAPO will continue to diligently work to improve the laws and policies of the United States for the benefit of our members and the public at large. What happens in Washington, D.C. can have a very real and direct impact on the line officer in every department in this country. NAPO works to ensure that law enforcement will continue to have a seat at the table when the important decisions of our towns, our counties, our states, and our nation are made.
If you have any questions or comments please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-322-NAPO.