May 13, 2021

During National Police Week, Judiciary Committee Advances Bills Supporting Law Enforcement

Grassley leads resolution honoring police

WASHINGTON – In recognition of National Police Week, the Senate Judiciary Committee today advanced a package of bills supporting America’s law enforcement officers and their families. Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) also led his colleagues in a resolution commemorating the service of America’s law enforcement officers.
 
“Day in and day out, the men and women in law enforcement work tirelessly to protect and serve communities across the country. This is no easy task, particularly over the past year as police were on the front lines of a pandemic and responded to a wave of violence and destruction over the summer. In recent months, Congress has witnessed firsthand the valor of law enforcement and the toll the job can take. The bills reported out of committee during this National Police Week are a small way we say thank you to those who wear the badge,” Grassley said.
 
The package includes three bills aimed at improving access to financial support for officers permanently disabled in the line of duty, expanding mental health outlets for law enforcement and promoting justice for officers lost while serving our nation abroad. All were approved by voice vote without objection.
 
Grassley introduced this bipartisan bill to ensure that officers who are permanently unable to secure meaningful gainful employment following a catastrophic injury in the line of duty remain eligible for federal benefits. It also expands the Justice Department’s ability to more efficiently secure records needed to swiftly evaluate disability claims. This bill is endorsed by various law enforcement organizations.
 
This bill clarifies that federal officers and employees serving overseas are protected, and that crimes against them may be tried in a U.S. court of law. The bill is named for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agents Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila, who were attacked by drug cartels while working in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The bill is led by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), and cosponsored by Grassley and others.
 
This bill seeks to address the mental stresses incurred by law enforcement by encouraging the adoption of peer counseling programs and protecting the privacy of federal officers who participate. This legislation was introduced by Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Grassley. An earlier version of this bill passed the Senate last congress.
 
Earlier this week, Grassley thanked law enforcement officers for their service to our communities in a speech on the Senate floor.
 
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