HR 1325 Protect and Serve Act
Updated On: Mar 14, 2019

25 February 2019

 

The Honorable John H Rutherford

U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515

 

The Honorable Val V. Demings

U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representatives Rutherford and Demings,

 

I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our strong support for HR. 1325, the "Protect and Serve Act," which you have re-introduced. This legislation is a legislative priority for the FOP.

The legislation would impose Federal penalties on individuals who deliberately target local, State or Federal law enforcement officers with violence.  Already this year 55 officers have been shot in the line of duty, 10 of whom were killed. Four officers this year have been ambushed, one of whom was slainLast year, 251 officers were shot in the line of duty and 51 were killed.  Of these, 22 officers were shot in an ambush attack, five of whom were slain. Last spring, Sergeant Noel Ramirez and Deputy Sheriff Taylor Lindsey of the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Department in Florida were having lunch together at  a restaurant  when they were assassinated  by a man who killed them before turning the weapon on himself.

Attacks like this are increasing. A December 2017 study by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, which examined law enforcement officer fatalities from 2010-2016, found that 20% of ambushed officers were seated  in their  patrol  cars and  56% of officers  killed  in an ambush were not on a call or engaged in any enforcement activity. Many of these officers were simply eating, sitting on post, or were targeted and killed while at their home or on their way home.

A May 2017 report issued by the Federal Bureau of lnvestigation on the motivations of cop­ killers revealed that many of these attacks are motivated by a hatred or animus toward law enforcement officers. This same report stated that these killers felt that the communities and elected officials no longer supported their officers and they would not face serious penalties for their actions. We must change this perspective and we believe that HR 1325, the "Protect and Serve Act," will do just that.

As former law enforcement officers, you both know the risks that come with the job. But no officer should be at risk while simply sitting in his patrol car, having lunch with a colleague or heading for home at the end of a shift. We appreciate your support for law enforcement officers and we promise to work hard to get this legislation through the House again this year.

On behalf of the more than 345,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, thank you for continued leadership and support for officer safety. If I can provide any additional support for this bill or on any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in my Washington, D.C. office.

Chuck Canterbbury

National President


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