Letter to Representative Pearce in support of H.R. 1640

04/06/2007

6 April 2007

The Honorable Steve Pearce
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative Pearce,

I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for H.R. 1640, the "Protecting Americans Fighting Terrorism Act."

Law enforcement officers cannot be everywhere, see everything, and stop every crime. We rely on witnesses, on concerned citizens looking out for one another to contact law enforcement to investigate suspicious activity—­before a crime can be committed. Law enforcement often works with groups like Neighborhood Watch, which are formed by citizens in an effort to make their communities safer.

Now that our nation is engaged in a global war on terror, it is even more important for citizens to feel that they can report suspicious activity to law enforcement and have that information be used appropriately and in good faith by law enforcement or security personnel. It is for this reason that the FOP supports your bill, H.R. 1640, because it would shield responsible citizens who feel they are doing the right thing, from being the targets of lawsuits by the person or persons they reported.

Such lawsuits are clearly being used to intimidate witnesses and it is altogether appropriate that Congress protect them from these frivolous suits. Doing the right thing should not get you hauled into court.

On behalf of the more than 325,000 members of the FOP, I want to thank you for your leadership on this issue. I look forward to working with you and your staff to get this legislation passed. If I can be of any additional help, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco at my Washington office.

Sincerely,

Chuck Canterbury
National President