Sarah Guy, Manager, Legislative and Media Affairs, IACP
IACP Endorses the COPS Improvement Act of 2014
The IACP recently endorsed the COPS Improvement Act of 2014, S. 2254. The bill was introduced by U.S. senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Al Franken (D-MN) on April 10, 2014. If passed, the legislation will provide vital support to local law enforcement by funding the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program through 2019, and authorizing the Office of COPS as a distinct office within the U.S. Department of Justice.
Since its inception, law enforcement agencies across the United States have relied on the COPS Office programs to expand and supplement their law enforcement capabilities. The COPS Office programs help provide law enforcement officers with the necessary resources to enhance public safety in communities and to protect the United States.
This legislation will provide the funds to establish and implement innovative programs to reduce and prevent illegal drug manufacturing and distribution; to combat gun trafficking and reduce gang violence; to hire school resource officers and establish school-based partnerships between local law enforcement agencies and local school systems to combat crime, gangs, and drug activities; to hire or rehire career law enforcement officers; and to recruit inactive military personnel to pursue the law enforcement profession.
IACP Submits Joint Amicus Brief on David Leon Riley v. the State of California
The IACP joined the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies, National Sheriffs’ Association, Major City Chiefs Association, Major County Sheriffs’ Association, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, and the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office in submitting an amicus brief on David Leon Riley v. the State of California.
The U.S. Supreme Court will be deciding in Riley whether officers’ searches of the cellphone seized during the petitioner’s arrest were lawful under the Fourth Amendment.
The joint brief supports the California Supreme Court and holds that officers may search smartphones incident to arrest without first obtaining a warrant. Alternatively, and at a bare minimum, the brief purports that the court should grant law enforcement officials the leeway to search cellphones incident to arrest when they have reason to believe the phones contain evidence of past, present, or future criminal activity.
The IACP and its partners believe that an immediate search—rather than waiting the several hours it can take to obtain a warrant—is the only way to fully protect law enforcement’s profound interest in preventing the destruction of potentially important evidence that can help solve cases and prevent future crimes.
General Francis X. Taylor Confirmed as Next Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
On April 11, 2014, the U.S. Senate confirmed by voice vote the nomination of General Francis X. Taylor to serve as the next Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The IACP supported General Taylor’s nomination and strongly believes that he will enhance and strengthen the Office of Intelligence and Analysis’ mission and ability to ensure the United States is safe, secure, and resilient against the threats of terrorism.
The IACP had the opportunity to meet with General Taylor prior to his confirmation, and he clearly articulated the importance of I&A and the need to disseminate intelligence throughout DHS and to state, local, and tribal law enforcement. Additionally, General Taylor was well versed and understanding of the important role of the National Network of Fusion Centers in the protection of the United States.
IACP Continues to Advocate Against the Consolidation of FEMA’s Grant Programs
We previously reported that the president’s budget proposes to consolidate 16 of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) state and local preparedness grant programs, like the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) and Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), into one grant program called the National Preparedness Grant Program (NPGP). The president proposed NPGP in his FY 2013 and FY 2014 budgets, but this year it is also being proposed through a legislative authorization proposal. The proposed funding level for the National Preparedness Grant Program is $1.04 billion, a significant reduction from the FY 2014 allocation to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s homeland security preparedness grants for state and local programs. NPGP would also remove the requirement that at least 25 percent of the total funds awarded under SHSGP and UASI be dedicated towards law enforcement terrorism prevention activities and move the management of the consolidated grant program to the states. States would be given the authority to determine where they would use their allotted SHSGP and UASI grant funds.
The IACP, along with several other law enforcement and local government stakeholder groups, continues to meet with FEMA and the U.S. Congress to express its concerns over the proposed NPGP program and the consolidation of FEMA’s existing grant programs. In addition, IACP has heavily stressed disagreement with the removal of the 25 percent requirement that SHSGP and UASI funds be spent on law enforcement activities. ♦
Please cite as:
Sarah Guy, “IACP Supports COPS Funding, Smartphone Searches, and New DHS Undersecretary,” Legislative Alert, The Police Chief 81 (May 2014): 10.