Dear Senators Schumer and McConnell,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you both of our strong support for H.J. Res. 42, a resolution disapproving the adoption of the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act (CPJRAA) by the Washington, D.C. City Council. On January 19, 2023, the D.C. Council enacted the CPJRAA without the signature of Mayor Muriel E. Bowser. The House adopted the resolution on a 229-189 vote.
The Fraternal Order of Police is the union that represents the men and women of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). These officers have made it clear to us and to the residents of the city that the CPJRAA would negatively impact the department’s officers and the safety of the public in the District of Columbia. The D.C. Council seeks to strip MPD officers of their right to bargain collectively with the city over disciplinary procedures—a right which all other public employees in the District have. The legislative action also repeals the requirement that the MPD commence discipline against their officers within 90 business days, which will result in abusively long disciplinary investigations that violate the Constitutional rights of these officers. The PCJRRA also provides for the disclosure of disciplinary records which will include personally identifiable information—placing these officers in potential jeopardy.
Irresponsible legislative actions like this contribute to the recruitment and retention crisis in the District and around the nation. In the last three years, the MPD has lost 1,191 officers—nearly one-third of the department. Of these, 40% were resignations—men and women who just walked away from their law enforcement careers in the District of Columbia. We believe that this type of attrition is directly attributable to the appalling way these officers have been treated by the City Council.
The loss of these veteran officers on the ability of MPD to perform is public safety mission cannot be overstated. Residents, workers, and visitors to the District will be less safe because there will be fewer officers protecting them. Fundamental changes to an officers’ collective bargaining rights also make MPD unattractive to new officers leading to even greater attrition. If we are to avert a major public safety disaster in our nation’s capital, the Senate must pass H.J. Res. 42 and disapprove of the PCJRRA.
On behalf of the more than 364,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, we strongly urge all Members of the Senate to support and pass H. J. Res. 42 to protect the safety of the public in Washington, D.C. and the rights of the officers that keep the District safe. If I can provide any additional information in support of this resolution, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.