By Meredith Mays, Legislative Representative, IACP
n mid-March, the IACP hosted its biennial Day on the Hill in Washington, D.C. Held in conjunction with the midyear meetings of the Division of State and Provincial Police and the Division of State Associations of Chiefs of Police, the day was an opportunity for IACP members to meet with their elected officials and discuss issues of importance to the law enforcement community.
In the meetings with Congress, IACP members called for an end to budget cuts for state, tribal, and local law enforcement and restoration of full funding to various programs. IACP members also discussed immigration, curbing illegal firearms sales, and sentencing guidelines on individuals convicted of crack cocaine offenses.
Attendees also participated in a successful press conference in support of the National Criminal Justice Commission Act with Senators Jim Webb (D-VA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Arlen Specter (D-PA).
IACP President Michael Carroll spoke at the press conference, explaining that
Each and every day, law enforcement agencies and officers throughout the nation face a remarkable array of challenges as they strive to fulfill their mission of protecting the public. The landscape on which they operate is ever changing, the crimes they investigate are growing increasingly complex, and the threats they face are constantly evolving.
The IACP believes it is imperative that the National Criminal Justice Commission Act be approved in a timely fashion. For far too long, our nation’s law enforcement and criminal justice system has lacked a strategic plan that will guide an integrated public safety and homeland security effort in the years ahead.
In addition to the Day on the Hill, IACP leadership this year has met several times with Vice President Joseph Biden and other members of Congress. The IACP continues to build upon its strong relationship with Congress and the administration to further promote the goals of the law enforcement community. The IACP works closely with members of Congress and the administration to ensure that policy makers in Washington are aware of the important issues that the law enforcement community is facing.
FCC Denies Public Safety Critical D Block
On February 25, 2010, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski announced that the National Broadband Plan includes a plan by the FCC to auction the 700 MHz D Block for commercial purposes without the previously identified public safety requirements. The new plan includes access by public safety to the entire 700 MHz band for the purposes of roaming and priority access but no requirements for the D Block winner to partner with the nationwide public safety broadband licensee.
Public safety needs a nationwide wireless broadband network that gives the public access to modern technologies. The network must be robust, interoperable, allow nationwide roaming, and be more reliable and secure than current commercial networks.
With the recent announcement by the FCC chairman of a major change in direction, representatives of the IACP and of other major national public safety organizations are engaged in intense discussions with the FCC, the White House, and Congress to make sure the outcome is positive for public safety.
The IACP calls on Congress to pass legislation directing the FCC to remove any auction requirements for the D Block and to allocate it directly to public safety as part of the nationwide Public Safety Broadband License (PSBL). The IACP also calls on Congress to identify and provide an annually recurring and dedicated funding source to build and maintain the nationwide public safety wireless broadband network.
House of Representatives Holds Hearing on Collective Bargaining Bill
In mid-March, the House Committee on Education and Labor held a hearing on H.R. 413, the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act.
H.R. 413, and its Senate counterpart S. 1611, would mandate that all state and local governments do the following:
- Allow for the unionization of their police force
- Require collective bargaining with the union
- Require bargaining over hours, wages, and terms and conditions of employment
In addition, the legislation also would empower the Federal Labor Relations Authority to review the existing collective bargaining laws in all 50 states to ensure that they meet the new federal standard. If the FLRA determines that any state fails to meet the standard, it will have the authority to mandate changes to existing policies and procedures.
The IACP is strongly opposed to H.R. 413 and S. 1611 and believes that, if passed, the bills will reduce the effectiveness of law enforcement agencies in the United States. Therefore, the IACP urges IACP members to contact their senators and representatives and tell them to oppose H.R. 413 and S. 1611. IACP members may do this by visiting the IACP’s Legislative Action Center (LAC) at http://capwiz.com/theiacp/home, where they can write or e-mail their senators and representatives about this important issue. The LAC includes a sample letter about H.R. 413 and S. 1611 that can be personalized and sent with individual IACP members’ contact information. ■
Please cite as:
Meredith Mays, "2010 Day on the Hill: A Great Success," Legislative Alert, The Police Chief 77 (April 2010): 8,
http://policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display&issue_id=42010&category_ID=5 (insert access date).