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Back to Archives | Back to January 2011 Contents 

Legislative Alert

Mandatory Collective Bargaining Legislation Sidelined Again

By Meredith Ward, Legislative Representative, IACP

Click to view the digital edition.

n December, congressional supporters of the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act (H.R. 413/S.1611) again attempted to pass the legislation in the U.S. Senate. The legislation was passed in the House this summer and is strongly opposed by the IACP.

Fortunately, because of the hard work of 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 force;
  • require collective bargaining with the union; 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, S.1611 will reduce the effectiveness of our nation’s law enforcement agencies. Despite our success in preventing passage of this legislation in the 111th Congress, it is sure to be reintroduced in the 112th Congress. Therefore, the IACP urges you to contact your senators and tell them to oppose S.1611. You may do this by visiting the IACP Legislative Action Center (LAC), where you can write or e-mail your senator about this important issue. The LAC includes a sample letter about S.1611 that can be personalized and sent simply by entering your contact information. Please visit

IACP Supports ATF Nominee

In early December, the IACP announced its strong support for the nomination of Andrew Traver to serve as the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

IACP President Mark Marshall said, “A career law enforcement professional like Andrew Traver is an ideal selection to lead ATF. Throughout his career, Special Agent Traver has demonstrated an unyielding commitment to protecting public safety. His 23 years of experience at the ATF have provided him the opportunity to work with law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. He has gained a unique understanding of the challenges and complexities law enforcement faces in combating firearms violence, gang crime, and other threats to our communities.”

Marshall continued, “The IACP believes that Special Agent Traver’s years of experience, his expertise, and his record of success are evidence of his outstanding qualifications to serve as the next director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The IACP urges the Judiciary Committee and the members of the United States Senate to confirm Special Agent Traver’s nomination in a timely fashion.”

Senators Introduce National Blue Alert Act of 2010

Senators Benjamin Cardin (D-MD); Patrick Leahy (D-VT); and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) recently introduced S. 3972, the National Blue Alert Act of 2010. S. 3972 is intended to encourage, enhance, and integrate Blue Alert plans throughout the United States in order to disseminate information when a law enforcement officer is seriously injured or killed in the line of duty. The bill directs the attorney general to establish a national Blue Alert communications network within the U.S. Department of Justice to issue Blue Alerts in coordination with states, units of local government, law enforcement agencies, and other appropriate entities.

According to a statement from Senator Cardin,

More than 900,000 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect us and to make our communities safer. Tragically, sometimes the unthinkable happens, and a police officer is injured or killed in the line of duty by a violent criminal. In such instances, the quick dissemination of important, time-sensitive information about suspected criminals is essential to keeping our communities safe.

Currently, there is no national alert system that provides immediate information about such tragedies. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have proposed a national Blue Alert system, similar to the successful Amber Alert system that is used every day to quickly locate abducted children . . .

Technology provides an important tool in law enforcement, and we need to take full advantage of it in apprehending dangerous criminals. A nationwide Blue Alert system will provide police officers and other emergency responders with important information they need to quickly apprehend violent offenders and keep our neighborhoods safe.

The legislation is currently being considered in the U.S. Senate. ■

Please cite as:

Meredith Ward, "Mandatory Collective Bargaining Legislation Sidelined Again," Legislative Alert, The Police Chief 78 (January 2011): 8, (insert access date).



From The Police Chief, vol. LXXVIII, no. 1, January 2011. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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