Dear Mr. Speaker and Representatives Jeffries, Scalise, and Clark,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for H.J. Res. 26, a resolution disapproving the adoption of the Revised Criminal Code Act (RCCA) of 2022 by the Washington, D.C. City Council.
The union representing the men and women of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is proudly FOP and the officers we represent have made it clear to us and to the residents of the city that the RCCA will embolden criminals, dramatically increase crime and violence, and render police officers in the District of Columbia virtually powerless to adequately police the city and keep its residents and visitors safe.
On January 17, 2023, the D.C. Council overrode Mayor Muriel Bowser’s veto of the RCCA. Mayor Bowser, like the men and women of the MPD recognize that it will quickly have a negative impact on public safety in the District. The RCCA eliminates mandatory minimum sentences for all crimes, drastically reduces the maximum penalties for crimes such as carjacking, and eliminates accomplice liability for felony murder.
These so-called “reforms” have been implemented in other jurisdictions and have led inevitably to greater violence and crime across our country. Having it happen here, in our nation’s capital, will have a ripple effect and we are very concerned that other cities will model their reforms on laws like the RCCA.
To reduce the authority of law enforcement officers and erect numerous obstacles to effective prosecutions and just sentences in the middle of a national crime epidemic is at variance with common sense! It is also contributing to the recruitment and retention crisis in the District and around the nation. In the last three years, more than 500 officers have left MPD and many cite their terrible treatment by the City Council as the reason for their departure.
We urge the House to adopt H.J. Res 26 and disapprove of the RCCA.
We further urge that the House review and consider a similar disapproval resolution for the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Amendment Act of 2022 which was enacted by the City Council on 19 January 2023 without Mayor Bowser’s signature. Under the guise of police reform, the Act attacks the rights of D.C. law enforcement officers, including restricting their right to bargain collectively and destroying their ability to challenge disciplinary matters taken without just cause. The law is anti-police, pro-crime, and the leading reason for the exodus of officers from the MPD. Like the RCCA, it will make the District of Columbia more dangerous for citizens who live in the District, individuals who work in the District, and tourists visiting the District. As a result, the D.C. Police Union respectfully requests your assistance in defeating these horrible laws.
On behalf of the more than 364,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, we strongly urge all Members of the U.S. House of Representatives to support and pass H. J. Res. 26 to protect the safety of the public in Washington, D.C. If I can provide any additional information about this bill, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.