Police Reform Talks Miss Another Self-Imposed Deadline; NAPO Meets with Top DOJ Leadership; House Adopts $3.5 Trillion Senate Budget Resolution; NAPO’s Legislative Positions & Sponsor/Cosponsor UpdatesAugust 27, 2021
Police Reform Talks Miss Another Self-Imposed Deadline
Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) had given themselves until the Senate leaves for August recess to come to an agreement on police reform legislation. Like the other self-imposed deadlines made this year, they did not meet this one either. When the Senate adjourned on August 11, Senator Scott and Booker had still not agreed on legislative language, but their staff continues to draft and share proposals on various 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.
The latest reporting states that qualified immunity is now completely off the table as Senator Scott maintains his opposition to eliminating it for individual officers and civil rights organizations and several law enforcement management groups are against municipal liability, which has long been seen as a potential compromise. However, as there is no agreed upon draft text or legislative proposal to review to confirm that both qualified immunity and municipal liability are no longer being considered, we continue to press for the preservation of qualified immunity for officers.
As negotiations continue through the recess, 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 are not eroded.
We remain actively involved with the staff, Senators and Representatives participating in negotiations to ensure our members voices are heard.
NAPO Meets with Top DOJ Leadership
NAPO President Mick McHale and Executive Director Bill Johnson participated in a meeting with Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta and other major national law enforcement organizations to discuss the recent work of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on criminal justice matters. NAPO was one of only two labor groups that participated with the rest being chiefs and sheriffs.
McHale and Johnson emphasized the need to make sure that rank-and-file officers, and their representative organizations or unions, have a seat at the table, and a voice, during the consideration of instituting a pattern or practice investigation; entering into a consent decree; and the appointment of a monitor. They reiterated many of the comments our members raised to Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, head of the Department’s Civil Rights Division, during our annual convention in July.
McHale and Johnson also advocated for the recognition of the local rank-and-file organization as a bona fide party to any consent decree, giving them legal standing to raise any concerns about a monitor’s actions, and the ability to petition the court, the DOJ, or other authority to modify or terminate the consent decree or monitoring once one or more of its goals have been met. They also restated NAPO’s long-standing request that the Civil Rights Division take note of, and prosecute, cases where state and local officers are threatened, targeted, assaulted, injured, or killed while protecting the federal civil rights of others. Johnson gave examples of the officers who were shot and killed or grievously wounded while protecting Black Lives Matter protests in Dallas and Las Vegas.
NAPO appreciates the continued open line of communication with DOJ leadership, their willingness to ask for feedback and their receptiveness to that feedback. We will maintain our relationship and work with the Department to ensure the rights and needs of rank-and-file officers are supported.
House Adopts $3.5 Trillion Senate Budget Resolution
On August 24, the House adopted the Senate-passed blueprint for a $3.5 trillion budget package by a party-line vote, starting the process for drafting a package of tax breaks and spending for Democratic priorities for social welfare programs, education, clean energy and more. The Senate adopted the fiscal 2022 budget resolution at the beginning of August by party-line vote, but not before Republicans were able to score several amendments to it with bipartisan support.
Two of the Senate adopted amendments, which are non-binding, would provide funding for the hiring of 100,000 new law enforcement officers nationwide and call for limiting or eliminating most federal grants and funding (excluding law enforcement grants) to local governments that choose to “defund” the police. These were Republican messaging amendments to force Democrats to vote on whether they support defunding the police. As they are non-binding, the House does not have to include such provisions in the final package.
This fiscal 2022 budget resolution sets up the process for reconciliation, which is an expedited budget process that allows a measure to pass through both chambers with a simple majority vote, thus bypassing the Senate filibuster. Democrats are restricted as to what can be included, as all provisions must be ruled to be budget related. While not in the blueprint passed by the Senate, NAPO will monitor the reconciliation package as it gets put together to ensure that budget-related police reform policies do not make their way into it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated that she expects House Committees to begin marking up the various provisions of the reconciliation package by September 15 to prepare them for floor action. This makes September an incredibly busy month for Congress as they must also fund the government before the end of the fiscal year on September 30, address the debt ceiling so the nation does not default on its debt, vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the Senate at the beginning of the month, amongst other issues. At the moment, the Senate is expected back from August recess on September 13 and the House on September 20, although Committees will be working through the recess.
Register Today for NAPO’s 2021 Legal Seminar
DEFENDING THE PROTECTORS: Current Issues for Attorneys & Law Enforcement Leaders
October 3 –5, 2021
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa
Palm Beach, Florida
Earn up to 15.0 Hours of CLE Credits Including 2.5 Hours of Ethics & 1 Hour of Technology!
Key Issues include: Representing Officers in Critical Incidents, Changing Marijuana Laws, Qualified Immunity, Social Media Labor Cases, Police Reform, Changes at the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Updates. Visit the NAPO website for a complete list of topics and speakers.
For Seminar information including Registration, Hotel Reservations and Airline Discounts click here. If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact NAPO’s Director of Events, Elizabeth Loranger, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 549-0775.
NAPO’s 2021 Legal Seminar Schedule of Events
NAPO’s Legislative Positions & Sponsor/Cosponsor Updates
NAPO’s updated “Sponsor/Cosponsor” spreadsheet is available on NAPO’s website. The spreadsheet accompanies the latest “Legislative Positions” document, which is also available on the NAPO website. NAPO's Legislative Positions is a document that highlights all the legislation that we have taken an official position on or are monitoring during the 117th Congress. It is continually updated to reflect the work we are doing on Capitol Hill.
The “Sponsor/Cosponsor” spreadsheet is a useful tool to check if your members of Congress have supported pieces of legislation that will impact our members. NAPO updates this spreadsheet regularly and continues to ensure our voice is heard on Capitol Hill.
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
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.