NAPO Victory! House Passes Protect & Serve ActMay 17, 2018
NAPO Victory! House Passes Protect & Serve Act
In a victory for NAPO and law enforcement officers across the country, the House overwhelmingly passed the Protect and Serve Act (H.R. 5698) by a vote of 382-35 on May 16th. The Protect and Serve Act provides for new criminal provisions for deliberate, targeted attacks on officers.
This bill is critical, as there is a serious and growing trend of armed attacks on law enforcement officers. According to a December 2017 report from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 2016 saw a significant increase in ambush attacks on unsuspecting officers, with 21 shot and killed. 61% of those officers were not answering a call for service or engaged in enforcement action or performing official duties – they were targeted and killed just for the uniform they wore. 12 officers were murdered sitting in their patrol cars.
NAPO has long been fighting to establish stricter penalties for those who harm or target for harm law enforcement officers. Any persons contemplating harming an officer must know that they will face serious punishments. NAPO strongly believes that increased penalties make important differences in the attitudes of criminals toward public safety officers and ensure protection for the community.
On May 13th, 360 American law enforcement heroes, who gave their lives in the line of duty, were honored at the 30th Annual Candlelight Vigil. It is only fitting that the House passed the Protect and Serve Act three days later in memory of those officers and in the hope of ensuring there are fewer names added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall next year.
NAPO thanks Congressman John Rutherford (R-FL) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) for championing this legislation and for their commitment to protecting and supporting America’s law enforcement community.