Dear Representatives Peters, Valadao, Harder, and Issa,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for H.R. 2722, the “Providing Child Care for Police Officers Act.”
Law enforcement officers have extremely demanding jobs, which are made even more difficult by the often-unconventional hours and the stresses of shift work. It is even more challenging for officers with young children. Many of these officers’ work nights or have non-traditional hours and may not have viable options for affordable childcare. Since most childcare programs only operate during traditional hours, the programs are often unable to accommodate law enforcement families.
Your legislation addresses this issue by authorizing $24 million each year for Fiscal Years 2024 through 2028 to help agencies establish these childcare programs. Of these funds, 20% will be directed to assist departments with fewer than 200 officers to ensure that smaller departments are not overlooked.
This bill, aside from helping current law enforcement families, will also improve recruitment and retention efforts across the country for future officers. This measure will incentivize potential officers with young children who have reservations about joining due to the lack of reasonable childcare options. If we as a nation are to address the retention and recruitment crisis in law enforcement, we must be prepared to invest and innovate. This legislation is a good first step.
On behalf of the more than 364,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you all for your leadership on this important issue. If I can provide any additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.