Executive Director Jim Pasco spoke with Jeffrey R. Favitta, Senior Law Enforcement Advisor to the Attorney General, regarding officers who have died in the line of duty due to COVID-19 and an update on various law enforcement issues.
COVID-19 Activity Updates
Executive Director Jim Pasco spoke with Jack A. Rauch, Deputy Associate Director with the White House Office of Public Liaison, regarding the administration’s activities to combat the coronavirus, potential COVID-19 related legislation to support local and State governments, and the FOP’s plan to honor the current law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty on 15 May with a virtual memorial tribute.
Executive Director Jim Pasco spoke with Jennifer S. Korn, Deputy Assistant to the President, regarding the effects on law enforcement caused by COVID-19, particularly the workforce and workload.
The National Legislative Office provided FOP members with information, released by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), regarding Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd’s statement in support of efforts to streamline payments under the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program (PSOB) to public safety officers fatally injured while working during the COVID-19 pandemic. To view this statement, please click here.
Yesterday, National President Patrick Yoes sent a letter to Senators Grassley (R-IA) and Booker (D-NJ) in support of S. 3607, the “Safeguarding America’s First Responders Act,” which would establish a presumption that a law enforcement or other public safety officer who dies from COVID-19 or complications related to COVID-19 did so because they sustained a personal injury in the line of duty, provided that the officer engaged in line-of-duty actions between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021. To view President Yoes’ letter, please click here. This legislation is expected to clear the Senate Committee on the Judiciary tomorrow and be ready for floor action during National Police Week next week.
The National Legislative Office provided FOP members with information, released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), regarding the Federal Aviation Administration‘s (FAA) goal to identify all remaining State and local law enforcement agencies with manned aviation units that may require ADS-B Out implementation support and conducting a series of targeted outreach efforts in collaboration with the DHS Office of State and Local Law Enforcement. To view this information, please click here.
The National Legislative Office provided FOP members with information, released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, regarding the updated guidance for first responder payroll expenses. Either a State, territorial, local, or Tribal government may presume that payroll costs for public health and public safety employees are payments for services substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency, unless the chief executive (or equivalent) of the relevant government determines that specific circumstances indicate otherwise. To view this information, please click here.
National President Patrick Yoes updated the following statement on the FOP’s new partnership with Centerra to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to FOP members. To view the statement, please click here.
The National Legislative Office provided FOP members with information, released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), regarding the announcement of $200 million for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program. To view this information, please click here.
Senior Legislative Liaison Tim Richardson spoke with staff in the offices of Senators William M. Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) about their draft legislation to create a State and Municipal Assistance for Recovery and Transition (SMART) fund. Their proposal would create a $500 billion fund that would prioritize funding to the hardest hit states, using a common-sense formula that considers state population, infection rates and revenue loss. The staff in both offices are still developing the text.
Senior Legislative Liaison Tim Richardson spoke with staff in the office of Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) with respect to draft legislation that would establish that officers who are exposed and contract COVID-19 are presumed to have done so in the line of duty and are eligible for the death benefit administered by the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) program.
Senior Legislative Liaison Tim Richardson spoke with senior counsels with the House Committee on the Judiciary regarding H.R. 6509, the Public Safety Officer Pandemic Response Act, which the FOP supports, as well as the need to amend the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) to suspend the qualification requirement for qualified retired law enforcement officers during the current national emergency.
Executive Director Jim Pasco spoke with Jeffrey R. Favitta, Senior Law Enforcement Advisor to the Attorney General, regarding pending legislation that would be beneficial for first responders as it pertains to COVID-19 death and disability claims.