NAPO Opposes D.C. Government's Attempt to Take Away Officers' RightsMarch 30, 2023
NAPO has some serious concerns with the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act (CPJRAA) that was enacted by the Council of the District of Columbia on January 19, 2023. Most significantly, this Act is an attempt by the Council to strip officers of their Constitutional rights in the name of police reform. We are therefore supporting a resolution sponsored by Congressman Andrew Clyde (R-GA), H.J. Res. 42, that disapproves of the D.C. City Council's action in approving the CPJRAA. We sent a letter to House leadership in support of the resolution and laying out our concners with the D.C. law.
The CPJRAA will negatively impact the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the City it serves. The underlying message of this act is that law enforcement officers cannot be trusted. It strips the men and women of the MPD of their right to bargain over accountability or disciplinary issues. This creates substandard collective bargaining rights for the officers, setting them apart from their fellow public servants in the District, who are allowed to bargain over disciplinary issues.
Further, the CPJRAA undermines officers’ Constitutional rights, including the right to due process, a right we give to all citizens. This is incredibly concerning. Without guidelines and procedures to protect officers’ due process, officers are too often subjected to the whim of their departments or local politics during internal investigations and administrative hearings. The CPJRAA also violates officers’ right to privacy by disclosing officer disciplinary records, without regard to personal identifiable information, which risks putting officers and their families in harm’s way.
NAPO is concerned the CPJRAA will exacerbate the current hiring and retention crisis the MPD is facing. With the City Council not respecting or trusting the officers who serve and protect their citizens, it will hinder recruitment and impact officer morale. We are urging Members of Congress to join us in supporting H.J. Res. 42, for the protection of officers' rights.