Dear Secretary Esper,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to raise our concerns with respect to the Presidential Memorandum of 29 January 2020 which delegates certain authorities to you under the Federal Services Labor-Management Relations statute and to respectfully request that, as the representatives of the civilian law enforcement officers employed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), we be consulted as you and the Department’s leadership decide how to best exercise these authorities.
There is a pervasive myth that unions or bargaining units can pose a national security or public safety risk. Speaking solely from the perspective of law enforcement, there is absolutely no truth to this absurd point of view. Let us not forget-virtually every law enforcement and public safety responder to the tragic attacks on our nation on 9/11 was a member of a union or representative organization. At no time did their membership impede or diminish their ability to respond on that day or any other. Law enforcement officers would never consult a contract clause or a shop steward before performing their sworn duty or responding to an emergency.
We know that you and President Trump understand that the men and women who put their lives in harm’s way every day will not fail to do their duty when called upon. We view recent media reports that the Department will strip away collective bargaining rights from all DOD employees, even civilian law enforcement officers, with some skepticism. However, we are concerned enough to ask, prior to any changes you may consider, that the FOP be given the opportunity to provide you feedback and insight from the perspective of DOD’s law enforcement officers.
On behalf of the more than 350,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I want to thank you for considering our views on this matter. Please consider the FOP to be a resource to you and the Department on this or any other issue and, if I can provide any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me or my Executive Director, Jim Pasco, in my Washington office.