NAPO UPDATE AND CALL TO ACTION: THE NATIONAL BLUE ALERT

UPDATE AND CALL TO ACTION: THE NATIONAL BLUE ALERT

On September 8, 2011, the Senate Judiciary Committee favorably reported The National Blue Alert Act of 2011, (S. 657) out of committee to be placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar (Calendar No. 160). During the committee mark-up, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) offered an amendment on behalf of the Sponsors: Senators Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC). This amendment is a favorable improvement for rank-and-file as it improves the bill in several ways.

First, it defines the definition of a law enforcement officer to be consistent with that used in the Public Safety Officers’ Death Benefits Act. Secondly, the amendment clarifies that the Blue Alert Coordinator should provide assistance to States and local governments that are currently using Blue Alert plans. Next, and perhaps the most prominent change affecting NAPO is the addition of a representative from a law enforcement organization representing rank-and-file officers to the advisory group.  Finally, the role of the coordinator is more clearly defined.

Even though the National Blue Alert reported out of committee with bipartisan support of fourteen votes, four Republican Senators voted against passage. This includes Senators Tom Coburn, (R-OK), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Michael Lee (R-UT) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL). Opposition by some of the committee members foreshadows future hurdles S.657 faces as a standalone bill on the Senate floor. Future resistance to the National Blue Alert is partially caused by the cost of the bill ($10 million) and partially due to a fundamental belief that this program is not the responsibility of the federal government, but a state and local duty.

NAPO is working to push the House companion bill, H.R. 365, through the House Judiciary Committee. Currently, H.R. 365 enjoys the support of 38 cosponsors.

NAPO’s call to action is for our members to reach out to Representatives on the House Judiciary committee via email or hard mail and request that they sign on in support of the National Blue Alert and request that the legislation be reported favorable out of a mark up in the House Judiciary Committee so it can receive attention on the House floor.

Below is a list of Representatives on the Committee broken down by party, a link to their contact page where the attached form letter (titled: Judiciary Committee National Blue Alert Letter) may be faxed or copied and then emailed. Additionally, another letter is attached for all members (titled: National Blue Alert House Letter) to print out, and fax, mail or email to your own representative.

NAPO is a strong and active supporter of the Blue Alert System. By creating a nationwide system that responds to criminal action against law enforcement officers we will ensure the safety of the officers and the public.  Please visit NAPO’s website for our public letter of support of this program.

DOWNLOAD JUDICIARY COMMITTEE BLUE ALERT LETTER HERE (WORD DOC)

DOWNLOAD HOUSE BLUE ALERT LETTER HERE (WORD DOC)

Members of the House of Representative Judiciary Committee

Republicans (23)


Lamar Smith, Texas – Chairman

Best to fax: 202-225-7680
F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Wis.

Best to fax: 202-225-3190
Howard Coble, N.C.

Best to fax: 202-225-8611
Elton Gallegly, Calif.

Best to fax: 202-225-1100
Robert W. Goodlatte, Va.

Best to fax: 202-225-9681
Dan Lungren, Calif.

Fax: 202-226-1298
Steve Chabot, Ohio

Fax: 202-225-3012
Darrell Issa, Calif.

Fax: 202-225-3303
Mike Pence, Ind.

Fax: 202-225-3021
Randy Forbes, Va.

Best to Fax 202-226-1170
Steve King, Iowa

Fax: 202-225-3193
Trent Franks, Ariz.

Fax: 202-225-4576
Louie Gohmert, Texas

Best to Fax: 202-225-3035
Jim Jordan, Ohio

Best to Fax: 202-226-0577
Ted Poe, Texas

Fax: 202-225-6565
Jason Chaffetz, Utah

Best to Fax: 202-225-7751
Tim Griffin, Ark.

Fax: 202-225-2506
Tom Marino, Pa.

Best to Fax: 202-225-9594
Trey Gowdy, S.C.

Best to Fax: 202-226-1177
Dennis A. Ross, Fla.

Best to Fax: 202-226-0585
Sandy Adams, Fla.

Fax: 202-226-6299
Ben Quayle, Ariz.

202-225-3462

Democrats (16)


John Conyers Jr., Mich. – Ranking Member

Fax: 202-225-0072
Howard L. Berman, Calif.

Fax: 202-225-4695
Jerrold Nadler, N.Y.

Fax: 202-225-6923
Bobby Scott, Va.

Fax: 202-225-8354
Melvin Watt, N.C.

Best to Fax: 202-225-1512

Zoe Lofgren, Calif.

Best to Fax: 202-225-3336
Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas

Best to Fax: 202-225-3816
Maxine Waters, Calif.

Fax: 202-225-2201
Steve Cohen, Tenn.

Fax: 202-225-5663
Hank Johnson, Ga.

Best to Fax: 202-226-0691
Pedro R. Pierluisi, P.R.

Fax: 202-225-2154
Mike Quigley, Ill.

Fax: 202-225-5603
Judy Chu, Calif.

Fax: 202-225-5467
Ted Deutch, Fla.

Fax: 202-225-5974
Linda T. Sánchez, Calif.

Fax: 202-226-1012
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Fla.

Best to Fax: 202-226-2052

House Members (38) who have signed on to be a cosponsor

of the National Blue Alert (H.R. 365)

Rep Barletta, Lou (R-PA)
Rep Bordallo, Madeleine Z. (GU)
Rep Capito, Shelley Moore (R-WV)

Rep Chu, Judy (D-CA)
Rep Coble, Howard (R-NC)
Rep Cooper, Jim (D-TN)
Rep Courtney, Joe (D-CT)
Rep Dent, Charles W. (R-PA)
Rep Diaz-Balart, Mario (R-FL)
Rep Doggett, Lloyd (D-TX)
Rep Ellison, Keith (D-MN)
Rep Faleomavaega, Eni F.H. (AS)
Rep Fitzpatrick, Michael G. (R-PA)

Rep Gibson, Christopher P. (R-NY)
Rep Gosar, Paul A. (R-AZ)
Rep Heinrich, Martin (D-NM)
Rep King, Peter T. (R-NY)
Rep LaTourette, Steven C. (R-OH)
Rep LoBiondo, Frank A. (R-NJ)
Rep Long, Billy (R-MO)
Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. (D-NY)
Rep Meehan, Patrick (R-PA)
Rep Meeks, Gregory W. (D-NY)
Rep Miller, Candice S. (R-MI)
Rep Nunes, Devin (R-CA)
Rep Pierluisi, Pedro R. (PR)
Rep Platts, Todd Russell (R-PA)
Rep Rangel, Charles B. (D-NY)
Rep Reed, Tom (R-NY)
Rep Reichert, David G. (R-WA)
Rep Rogers, Mike J. (R-MI)
Rep Sablan, Gregorio Kilili Camacho (MP)
Rep Sherman, Brad (D-CA)
Rep Shuster, Bill (R-PA)
Rep Southerland, Steve (R-FL)
Rep Sutton, Betty (D-OH)
Rep Tonko, Paul (D-NY)
Rep Towns, Edolphus (D-NY)