Meredith Ward, Legislative Representative, IACP
ongress has passed a continuing resolution (CR) where programs are funded at the lowest current levels into law. A continuing resolution is a stopgap funding measure that is passed for a short period of time to give lawmakers additional time to work on a final measure. The CR will keep the federal government operating through Friday, December 3, 2010.
The CR covers funding levels for the primary law enforcement assistance grants administered through the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, including
- $511 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grant
- $298 million for Community Oriented Policing Services hiring
- $652.5 million for the State Homeland Security Grant program
- $646.25 million for the Urban Area Security Initiative
- $459.25 million for the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program
Congress Passes Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act
Congress has passed S. 3397, the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010. The legislation aims to reduce the risk of drug abuse by young adults by providing an easy, safe means to collect and destroy unused, unwanted, or expired prescription medication.
Coincidentally, on September 25, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) held a one-day collaborative effort with state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from homes throughout the United States. This “take-back” initiative provided the public with an opportunity to surrender pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications to law enforcement officers for destruction.
The IACP is proud to support this initiative because expired, unused, or unwanted controlled substances in the home represent a potential source of supply for the increasing abuse of pharmaceutical drugs in the United States and pose an unacceptable risk to public health and safety.
For additional information on DEA’s Take-Back Campaign, visit http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/pressrel/pr091510.html.
Congress Passes LEOSA Expansion
Before the break for its fall recess, Congress passed S. 1132, the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) Improvements Act of 2010. The legislation, which is strongly opposed by the IACP, amends the original LEOSA to include certain retired federal officers. Specifically, retired Amtrak Police Department officers, Federal Reserve officers, and executive branch law enforcement officers are now eligible to carry concealed firearms across state lines.
The IACP opposed the original bill and the most current one because it is the IACP’s belief that states and localities should have the right to determine who is eligible to carry firearms in their communities. It is essential that state and local governments maintain the ability to legislate concealed carry laws that best fit the needs of their communities. This applies to laws covering private citizens as well as active and former law enforcement personnel.
House Passes Organized Retail Theft Investigation and Prosecution Act
In late September, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5932, the Organized Retail Theft Investigation and Prosecution Act of 2010. The legislation directs the attorney general to submit a report to Congress containing recommendations on how retailers, online businesses, and law enforcement agencies can help prevent and combat organized retail theft. The bill also establishes an organized retail theft directorate in the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate and prosecute organized retail theft. DOJ also will assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies in such investigations.
The legislation is similar to H.R. 1173, the Organized Retail Crime Act, which IACP supports. Organized retail crime has become a growing issue in the last decade where individuals and enterprises are engaged nationally and internationally in organized crime involving theft and interstate fencing of stolen retail merchandise.
IACP/PARADE Magazine Police Officer of the Year Receives Medal of Valor
The IACP/PARADE Magazine Police Officer of the Year for 2009, Officer Pedro Garcia III of the San Antonio, Texas, Police Department, was recently presented the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor by Vice President Joseph Biden.
Garcia won Police Officer of the Year for a heroic and selfless act. Quick thinking and daring action by Garcia saved the lives of two badly wounded fellow officers in a shootout with a crazed gunman firing at them with an AK-47 assault rifle from a southside San Antonio residence a year ago in September. First, Garcia lay down a covering fire from the backyard of the two-story structure, forcing the assailant to take cover, while other officers dragged the wounded male officer to safety. Garcia then charged across an open space, exposing himself to gunfire, in order to reach a vulnerable female officer who had been shot in the back. Garcia called to another officer to ram a fence gate with a patrol car and open a path so he could throw the wounded woman over his shoulder and carry her to safety.
Read more about Garcia’s medal at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/09/22/background-todays-medal-valor-ceremony. ■
Please cite as:
Meredith Ward, "Congress Passes Continuing Resolution to Sustain Federal Government" Legislative Alert,The Police Chief 77 (November 2010): 8, http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/CPIM1110/#/8 (insert access date).