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
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