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Senate Judiciary Committee Advances Three Bills Supporting Law Enforcement

Durbin pays tribute to Luis Huesca, a Chicago Police Department officer who was laid to rest earlier this month, and four officers killed in the line of duty in Charlotte, NC

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee advanced three pieces of legislation to support law enforcement. The legislation was advanced in conjunction with National Police Week, which Chair Durbin and Ranking Member Graham introduced a resolution to recognize earlier this week. Since Durbin became Chair, the Committee has now reported fourteen bills unanimously during National Police Week, of which four have been signed into law by President Biden.

“Dating back to President Kennedy, America has honored the brave men and women who serve with dignity and integrity to protect our communities as part of National Police Week. Law enforcement officers face difficult challenges every day and live with the physical, mental, and emotional toll of being the first responders in dangerous, and often traumatizing, situations. We united in our shared goal of supporting law enforcement today by advancing these pieces of meaningful legislation that will make a difference in their lives. I look forward to voting on these in the full Senate, and I hope the House will take up and pass these bills swiftly,” said U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Durbin also paid tribute to Chicago Police Department officer Luis Huesca, who was laid to rest just two weeks ago after being shot and killed as he returned home from his shift, as well as four officers killed in the line of duty in Charlotte, North Carolina less than three weeks ago.

“Officer Huesca is remembered as a loving son, brother, and uncle, who demonstrated a commitment to service in his six years with the Department. He always sought to brighten the days of his fellow law enforcement officers as they worked to keep Chicago safe. In addition to his sense of humor, Officer Huesca was known for his love of travel and adventurous spirit.  Even when he was on a vacation in Morocco, Officer Huesca could not help but serve individuals in need, stepping up to assist a group of women who fell off a motorcycle. Officer Huesca was killed only two days before his 31st birthday, just over a year after his friend and fellow officer Andrés Mauricio Vásquez Lasso was killed in the line of duty,” said Durbin.

“We also honor four officers, including one Deputy U.S. Marshal, who were killed in the line of duty in Charlotte, North Carolina less than three weeks ago. Deputy Marshal Tommy Weeks, Jr., served for over 20 years as a federal law enforcement officer. These four officers were dedicated public servants, and they were also devoted husbands and fathers. We grieve with their families and pray for their loved ones,” continued Durbin.

Today, we remember their lives, and the lives of the hundreds of officers lost over the past year. We mourn the tragic loss of these outstanding officers and too many others across the country,” finished Durbin.

Video of Durbin’s commemoration is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s commemoration is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s commemoration is available here for TV Stations.

The following pieces of legislation were reported in unanimous votes by the Committee:

  • S. 930, Honoring Our Fallen Heroes Act of 2023 (Klobuchar, Cramer), as amended, which would provide presumptive benefits under the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits program for first responders, including police officers and firefighters, who develop occupational cancer
  • S. 3335, Retired Law Enforcement Officers Continuing Service Act of 2023 (Klobuchar, Grassley), as amended, which would establish a grant program to help law enforcement agencies hire retired law enforcement personnel to assist with homicide investigations, review camera footage, provide expertise in forensic analysis, and train civilian law enforcement staff to assist with these tasks
  • S. 4235, Reauthorizing Support and Treatment for Officers In Crisis Act of 2024 (Hawley, Whitehouse), which would reauthorize the STOIC Act, which established new suicide prevention and mental health programs for law enforcement officers and their families