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Congressman Jolly calls for passage of Thin Blue Line Act as National Police Week approaches
Date:  5/13/2016
ArticleType:  St. Pete News

For Immediate Release
Friday, May 13, 2016

Contact
Preston Rudie, Communications Dir.
(727) 418-7722

Congressman Jolly calls for passage of Thin Blue Line Act as National Police Week approaches

NAPO, MCSO and other U.S. Reps join in call

Seminole, FL – U.S. Representatives David Jolly (FL-13), Rich Nugent (FL-11) and several other Members of Congress joined the President of the National Association of Police Organizations and a representative of the Major County Sheriff’s Association outside the U.S. Capitol today (picture attached) to call for the passage of the Thin Blue Line Act.    

“We must stand united with the men and women who serve and protect our communities,” said Jolly with officers from several agencies standing by his side.  “The Thin Blue Line Act is supported by just about every major law enforcement organization and it simply says if you take the life of a law enforcement officer, be prepared to lose your own life.”

“Before coming to Congress, I spent nearly four decades in law enforcement.  I lost friends and I lost deputies in the line of duty.  I don’t mince words when it comes to this subject.  Right now, federal law enforcement officers are treated differently under the law from local first responders.  Congressman Jolly is right to want to fix that discrepancy and I am a strong supporter of this legislation,” added Congressman Nugent.

Jolly’s Thin Blue Line Act (H.R. 814) currently has 48 cosponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives and the companion bill in the U.S. Senate (S. 2034) has 23 cosponsors.

The bill also has the support of a host of law enforcement organizations.

“There is a serious and growing trend of armed attacks on law enforcement officers just because of the uniform they wear. Tepid responses to the murders of police officers do nothing to discourage future attacks, which is why the Thin Blue Line Act is so important,” stated Mick McHale, President of the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO).  “Establishing stricter penalties for those who harm law enforcement officers will deter violence against officers and help keep communities safe, which is why it is vital that Congress pass this legislation.”

In addition to the National Association of Police Organizations, the Thin Blue Line Act has garnered the support of the Fraternal Order of Police, Major County Sheriff's Association, the Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), the International Union of Police Associations, the Peace Officers Research Association of California , the National District Attorneys Association, National Sheriffs' Association, the Council of Prison Locals, the Voices of J.O.E., and the Florida Sheriffs’ Association.

“This legislation would not only assist to bring those who seek out victims based on their status to justice, but also provide support for those who put their lives on the line for their communities and its citizens,” recently wrote Chuck Canterbury, the President of the National Fraternal Order of Police in a letter of support.

The Thin Blue Line Act would make the murder of a police officer, firefighter, or first responder an aggravating factor in death penalty determinations and would be applicable whether the person is murdered on duty, because of the performance of their duty, or because of their status as a public official. 

The measure covers every police officer whether federal, state, or local as well as any firefighter or first responder.  The only requirement is that the homicide provides federal jurisdiction.  This includes the following:

  • The interstate homicide of an officer
  • A homicide of an officer who is serving on a joint federal/state/local taskforce (example: Organized Crime Task Forces, Drug Enforcement Task Forces, Human Trafficking Task Forces)
  • An officer, deputy, firefighter, first responder killed on federal land

National Police Week officially begins on Sunday.

 

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