JOINT RELEASE: Bipartisan House Members Push to Invest in Local Law Enforcement, Honoring Police Week. Urging Congressional Leadership to Bring Bipartisan Legislation for Vote. 63 Sponsors in House, 10 Senators. Joined and Endorsed by Local Law Enforcement.

 

Above: Members of Congress push for investment in local law enforcement as the nation recognizes Police Week.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, May 12, 2022, a bipartisan group of Members of Congress joined together to push for investment in local law enforcement, as the nation recognizes Police Week and remembers the nearly 26,000 law enforcement officers who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. The bipartisan group urged Congressional leadership to bring the bipartisan, bicameral Invest to Protect Act to the floor for a vote. 

The Invest to Protect Act will help ensure that police departments in small towns and communities with fewer than 200 officers have the resources and training they need to keep themselves and families across their communities safe. 

The Invest to Protect Act has 63 bipartisan cosponsors in the House. The Senate companion legislation was introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and is cosponsored by Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Tillis (R-NC), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Todd Young (R-IN), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

The legislation was recently endorsed by the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus.

The bipartisan, bicameral Invest to Protect Act will provide targeted, critical federal investment to local law enforcement to: 

  • Make investments in officer safety, de-escalation, and domestic violence response training.
  • Increase access to body worn cameras, while also investing in cloud storage and security.
  • Provide grants to recruit new officers, offer retention bonuses to help communities keep existing officers.
  • Offer mental health services for officers.

More than 95% of the nation’s local police departments have 200 officers or fewer.

Bipartisan members joining together to push for the Invest to Protect Act today included Reps. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), John Rutherford (FL-4), Cindy Axne (IA-3), Markwayne Mullin (OK-2), Jim Costa (CA-16), Bruce Westerman (AR-4), Susie Lee (NV-3), David Valadao (CA-21), Kim Schrier (WA-8), Dan Meuser (PA-9), Dan Kildee (MI-5), Tom Rice (SC-7), Chris Pappas (NH-1), Peter Meijer (MI-3), Mike Levin (CA-49), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1), Susan Wild (PA-7), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Dean Phillips (MN-3), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-6), and Angie Craig (MN-2).
 
Law enforcement in attendance include Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) Executive Committee Members Sergeant Grant Ward of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and Ventura County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association President Nick Odenath, and Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson.
 
“Every day, our brave officers wake up, put on a bulletproof vest, kiss their spouses and children goodbye, and then put their lives on the line to protect all of us. For that reason, we are all joining forces here today — to get the backs of our first responders, and to push for bipartisan, and now bicameral, legislation that I’m leading with my friend, Congressman John Rutherford — called the Invest to Protect Act. We need to fund — not defund — local law enforcement. Cutting to the bone only weakens any profession; it pushes good people out, it diminishes the overall quality, and fuels a race to the bottom.” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “I strongly urge the House and Senate leadership to bring this bipartisan bill to the floor for a vote. It will pass and our country will be safer for it.” 
 
“Small police forces in rural areas often suffer from a lack of operational equipment and services,” said Congressman John Rutherford (FL-4). “That’s why we introduced the Invest to Protect Act, which creates a grant program for departments with fewer than 200 officers to support critical resources like body cameras, training, retention, and mental health care. Thank you to my colleague, Rep. Gottheimer, for leading on this important legislation.”
 
“PORAC has been calling for increased grant funding to support our nation’s law enforcement profession for years, and it is especially needed right now, as officers seek to protect our families and communities from a dramatic increase in crime and violence,” said Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) President Brian Marvel. “The Invest to Protect Act is a meaningful proposal to provide this funding that PORAC is proud to support. We know from experience that passing bipartisan police reform measures and enacting legislation to modernize law enforcement is achievable, but it requires patience, genuine listening, collaboration, and last but arguably most important, the funding to see these policies through.”
 
“I was honored to recognize National Police Week with a bipartisan group of my colleagues by urging leadership to pass our Invest to Protect Act,” said Congresswoman Cindy Axne (IA-3). “This legislation will get much-needed funding to our smaller police departments who are competing with some of the largest departments in the country for funding, and we have to get this done for law enforcement officers everywhere. I want to thank Congressman Gottheimer and Congressman Rutherford for their work on this critical effort, and I hope leadership heeds our calls.”
 
“This week as we honor the men and women in blue who gave their lives in service to our communities, I am more convinced than ever that supporting our local law enforcement officers is vital. After a 27 year career in law enforcement, I know that smaller police departments across Florida face particular challenges. These investments will support training, accountability, recruitment, retention, and officer wellness. I look forward to working with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to get this bill passed and help police departments fulfill their mission,” said Congresswoman Val Demings (FL-10).
 
“Our law enforcement officers deserve our full support, but it is not enough to just say that,” said Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2). “The Invest to Protect Act will provide critical resources to local police departments like the ones in Oklahoma’s Second District, and ensure our officers are supported – not defunded. This is common sense legislation. There’s no better time than National Police Week to pass this bill and reaffirm our commitment to Black the Blue.”
 
“Central Coast law enforcement officers work hard every day to protect our communities, combat gun violence, and keep our families safe. The Invest to Protect Act is a bipartisan measure that would ensure police departments in my district get the resources they need to do their jobs,” said Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24). “Congress must take up our bill to fund our local police departments so they can recruit, train, and retain high-quality officers without having to worry about competing with big city police departments for funding.”
 
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, calls to defund the police are flat out wrong. Our law enforcement folks put their lives on the line every day to protect our families and communities, and deserve our real gratitude,” said Congressman Fred Upton (MI-6). “They need resources for better pay, training, and equipment, like body cameras, to help them properly and safely do their jobs. That’s why I’m proud to help introduce the bipartisan Invest to Protect Act because we must always support and defend our men and women who wear the uniform.”
 
“This National Police Week, we’re calling on our colleagues to pass the bipartisan, bicameral Invest to Protect Act,” said Congresswoman Susie Lee (NV-03). “Local law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to protect us, and we owe it to them to ensure they have the resources, training, and support that they need to continue to protect our communities. We know that officers often face circumstances that require unique responses. That’s why this bill’s investment in officer safety, de-escalation and domestic violence training is so important. I urge House and Senate leadership to bring this bill to a vote so we can get our law enforcement officers the investments they need to protect our communities.”
 
“This National Police Week, we are reminded of the importance of ensuring our law enforcement have the resources they need to keep themselves and our communities safe. Deadly violence against law enforcement hit an all-time high in 2022, with rates up 48% from 2020. This is unacceptable. That is why I co-led the ‘Invest to Protect Act’ with Rep. Gottheimer, to ensure our men and women in uniform are fully supported as they protect our communities, too often at the expense of their own safety,” said Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-4). 
 
“Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to enforce our laws, keep us safe, and provide assistance to millions of Americans every single day,” said Congressman Dean Phillips (MN-03). “I am proud to join Reps. Gottheimer and Rutherford on this important piece of legislation to ensure our law enforcement agencies have the funding they need to recruit and retain good officers, to support officers with mental health resources, and to provide training to meet the pressing needs of our communities.”
 
“We need to make sure our police departments in the Central Valley have enough funding to properly recruit, train, and provide resources for their officers,” said Congressman David Valadao (CA-21). “I’m proud to support the bipartisan Invest to Protect Act to equip our officers with the tools they need to keep themselves and our communities safe.”
 
“The men and women of law enforcement put their lives on the line every day to protect us and serve our communities,” said Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-2). “We must continue to invest in our law enforcement, and I’m proud to be a cosponsor of the bipartisan Invest to Protect Act to provide and equip local police departments with the tools, resources, and funding they need to keep our communities safe.”
 
“Everyone should feel safe in their community. I’m proud to support this legislation to increase funding for mid-Michigan law enforcement, so they can hire more police officers and keep our neighborhoods and communities safe,” said Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-5).
 
“Our small police departments should not be left behind,” said Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16). “If we want to see real reforms that make a difference in our communities, it’s important to realize that one size does not fit all. The overwhelming majority of our police forces across America and in my district have less than 200 personnel with stretched budgets. This legislation will help ensure these agencies have the necessary resources to invest in best practices and hire qualified people.”
 
“Local law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to protect and serve their communities – oftentimes working on strained budgets without the equipment and training they need to reduce crime and keep Minnesotans safe,” said Congresswoman Angie Craig (MN-2). “It’s long past time that Congress stepped up and enacted legislation to ensure our smaller and mid-size police departments have the resources necessary to do their jobs safely and effectively. I’m proud to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to prioritize this important legislation which will deliver commonsense solutions to build safer, more secure communities.”
 
“I have been meeting with police chiefs and police officers across the 8th District to learn about what resources they need to keep themselves and our communities safe. I’m proud to be a co-sponsor of the bipartisan Invest to Protect Act that will make sure smaller police departments, like most of those in the 8th district, can access grants to purchase body cameras and to hire and retain good police officers who know their community. I will keep working with my colleagues in both parties to get this important legislation passed and ensure our police have the resources they need,” said Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08).
 
“Over the past few years especially, law enforcement officers in my community of Chester and Berks counties have selflessly served Pennsylvanians through a public health crisis, historic flooding from Hurricane Ida, and so many other challenges. I’ve met with these brave men and women to hear their ongoing concerns and how best we can support their mission. As we all know, part of the that support means dedicating resources to ensure they are equipped to protect our communities. That’s why I’m proud to stand with my colleagues and support Rep. Gottheimer’s bipartisan, bicameral Invest to Protect Act. Together, we can improve safety in all of our communities,” said Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (PA-6).
 
“This week during National Police Week we recognize the bravery of our law enforcement officers and honor the lives of those lost in the line of duty,” said Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-1), “Our law enforcement officers risk their lives every day to keep our communities safe, especially during the last two years. That’s why I’ve proudly supported and introduced legislation to provide vital funding to police departments so they can continue providing lifesaving services, and I remain committed to supporting our law enforcement. It could not be more important that we not let politics cloud this issue - Democratic leadership can and should bring this bill to the floor for a vote and I will continue to call on Republicans and Democrats to work together to get this across the finish line to keep our communities safe.”

“Increasing trust between our law enforcement officers and the people they protect requires that we fund the police, including in smaller rural and suburban communities like those I represent,” said Congressman Tom Malinowski (NJ-7). “This Police Week, let’s recommit to supporting law enforcement with the tools and training it needs to keep our families safe.”

 
                                                                                                                                                                    ###