I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to ask all of you, as California members of the Committee on the Judiciary, to support HR 1325, the “Protect and Serve Act.” Last year, this same bill was passed in committee unanimously and then passed the House on an overwhelming 382-35 vote. The legislation, which has been re-introduced by a bipartisan group of former law enforcement officers, would impose Federal penalties on individuals who deliberately target local, State or Federal law enforcement officers with violence.
At this writing, 11 law enforcement officers have been shot in California-including two who were shot and killed in an ambush or unprovoked attack. By our count nationwide, eight officers have been attacked in this manner, three of whom were killed just this year.
In January, Officer Natalie B. Corona of the Davis Police Department responded to a multi-vehicular crash when she was shot to death by a person with an animus toward the police department. She was 22 years old with just a few months on the job.
Just a week ago, Officer Tara C. O’Sullivan of the Sacramento Police Department was assisting a domestic abuse victim in moving her belongings when a man opened fire on her, her training officer and two other responding officers. She was fatally wounded in the opening seconds of a fire fight which became a standoff that lasted several hours. She was 26 with just 6 months on the job.
A recent report from the Federal Bureau oflnvestigations concluded: “While the overall number of officers who were feloniously killed was declining, the percentage of officers feloniously killed during surprise attacks was increasing.” In response to this growing officer safety issue, we are asking you to honor the memories of Officers Corona and O’Sullivan by once again supporting the “Protect and Serve Act.”
On behalf of the more than 348,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, thank you for considering our request to cosponsor H.R. 1325. If I can provide any additional support for this bill or on any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in my Washington, D.C. office.