The NAPO Report
The House passed the Invest to Protect Act, H.R. 6448, on Sept. 22, by a large bipartisan vote of 360-64. The legislation, which would create a broad grant program through the Department of Justice (DOJ) specifically for small state, local or tribal law enforcement agencies, will give them resources to train their officers, provide mental health resources for their officers, and retain and hire officers. A small agency is defined as one that employs 125 sworn law enforcement officers or fewer.
The law enforcement assistance grant programs through the DOJ provide invaluable resources, training and technical assistance to state and local law enforcement agencies, helping to keep our communities safe. However, small agencies across the country find themselves getting left behind due to their size and lack of resources for participating in the onerous federal grant solicitation process.
NAPO meets with DOJ leadership
On Sept. 29, NAPO met with Attorney General Merrick Garland, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, as well as the leaders of other major national law enforcement organizations, for a standing quarterly meeting between the DOJ and national law enforcement leadership. These meetings have been set to discuss relevant issues facing officers in the streets and how the DOJ can best assist its state and local law enforcement partners. This meeting focused on rising violent crime rates in our nation’s cities as well as the recruitment and retention issues that departments across the country are experiencing.
House passes bill to help law enforcement improve homicide clearance rates
The House passed the NAPO-supported VICTIM Act (H.R. 5768) on Sept. 22. This bill would establish a grant program at the DOJ to help state, tribal and local law enforcement agencies improve their clearance rates for homicides and non-fatal shootings. The grant funding can be used to hire additional detectives, officers and personnel to support efforts to improve clearance rates as well as train detectives and police personnel to investigate, solve and respond to homicides and non-fatal shootings.
Over the past two years, homicides have jumped nearly 40 percent. Murders and non-fatal shootings are going unresolved at higher rates as law enforcement agencies lack the officers and resources to dedicate to improving clearance rates for these horrendous crimes. The VICTIM Act will help address this issue by supplying much-needed grant funding to agencies to fill, replenish and train their detective and homicide personnel. Through this legislation, law enforcement will be able to focus on solving the violent crimes that have such a detrimental impact on our communities and improve the services that they render to victims.