By Meredith Mays Ward, Legislative Representative, IACP
he IACP continues to push for critical legislation to allocate the D-Block spectrum to public safety for the development of a national, interoperable public safety broadband network. The legislation, H.R. 5081, the Broadband for First Responders Act of 2010, currently
has 21 bipartisan cosponsors. The IACP has participated in several events to push the legislation and has held many briefings
for congressional staff.
For the past year, the IACP has been urging Congress to pass legislation to remove the auction requirements for the D-Block and allocate that spectrum to public safety, and, thus, it fully supports H.R. 5081. For many years, the IACP has been a leader in promoting the development of a nationwide wireless broadband data network for law enforcement and public safety.
The IACP is convinced that law enforcement and public safety need a minimum of 20 MHz of broadband spectrum to meet their current and future needs. This includes the D-Block spectrum (10 MHz), in addition to the already allocated public safety spectrum (10 MHz) that is licensed nationwide to the Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST). The IACP position is based on the advice of trusted engineers that 4th Generation (4G) broadband technologies will not give the profession the needed robust broadband network on less than 20 MHz of spectrum and on the rapid expansion and use of broadband applications by the public using commercial networks. Law enforcement and public safety must have access to these new technologies to perform their increasingly complex duties. These technologies must have adequate and dedicated spectrum that is managed and controlled by public safety, so they will be more secure and reliable than commercial systems.
The IACP will continue to work with Congress to pass H.R. 5081 and will work with the administration and the FCC to gain common ground on a successful conclusion to this issue. We urge your continuing support in our efforts by writing to your members of Congress today to urge them to support H.R. 5081. In order to help you in this effort, the IACP has set up a Legislation Action Center where you can view talking points, sample letters, House and Senate contact information, and additional background information on H.R. 5081. It can be accessed at www.capwiz.com/theiacp/issues/alert/?alertid=15003471&type=CO.
Mandatory Collective Bargaining Legislation Sidelined Again
In early summer, congressional supporters of the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act (H.R. 413/S.1611) again attempted to pass the legislation by adding it to the Department of Defense Appropriations bill under consideration by the United States Senate. The legislation is strongly opposed by the IACP. Because of the hard work by IACP members and other organizations, the Senate failed to pass the provision.
This legislation would mandate that all state and local governments
- allow for the unionization of their police forces;
- require collective bargaining with their unions; and
- require bargaining over hours, wages, and terms and conditions of employment.
In addition, the legislation would also empower the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) 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 a state fails to meet the standard, it will have the authority to mandate changes to existing policies and procedures.
The IACP believes that, if passed, H.R. 413/S. 1611 will reduce the effectiveness of our nation’s law enforcement agencies. Therefore, the IACP urges you to contact your senators and representative and tell them to oppose H.R. 413/S. 1611. In order to help you in this effort, the IACP has set up a Legislation Action Center where you can view talking points, sample letters, House and Senate contact information, and additional background information on H.R. 413/S.1611. It can be accessed at www.capwiz.com/theiacp/issues/alert/?alertid=14465031.
Stay Connected with the IACP
The IACP has launched several new social media outlets to help members stay connected to IACP news and developments. The association has historically engaged in a variety of media to communicate relevant news to the membership, and these new elements represent the next step in that process.
Last fall, the IACP’s legislative newsletter changed its format to become the IACP Capitol Report Update, available on the IACP website. The newsletter features up-to-date, frequent news items from around Washington, D.C. It can be accessed at www.theiacp.org/legislativeaction.
Another new and exciting endeavor is the launch of the IACP Podcast Series. Podcasts are posted on the IACP’s website and cover topics such as internal affairs, SafeShield, and annual conference details. The series can be accessed at http://www.theiacp.org/IACPPodcastSeries.
Police Chief magazine, the professional voice of law enforcement published monthly by the IACP, is now also available online in a digital format. The magazine can be accessed on any computer with an online connection at www.naylornetwork.com/iac-nxt. The magazine keeps law enforcement executives abreast of issues important to the law enforcement community. This online resource, in addition to the print edition, allows readers to follow trends in law enforcement and to better serve their communities.
To receive an alert when these or other elements of the IACP website are updated, subscribe to the IACP’s RSS feed at www.theiacp.org/rssfeed.aspx?p=2.
The IACP also launched an official IACP Facebook page, which will help members stay connected with each other. To find us on Facebook, visit www.theiacp.org/facebook.
Finally, you can now follow the IACP on Twitter. IACP Twitter followers receive up-todate information in real time on IACP legislative alerts, news, publications, and events. To find us on Twitter, visit www.twitter.com/IACPOfficial. ■
Please cite as:
Meredith Mays Ward, "Legislative Alert: Congress Considering Critically Important D-Block Legislation," The Police Chief 77 (July 2010): 8, http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/CPIM0710/#/8 (insert access date).