Dear Representative Buchanan,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for H.R. 72, the “Thin Blue Line Act,” which would expand the list of aggravating factors in death penalty determinations for those who target, kill, or attempt to kill a law enforcement or other public safety officer.
Law enforcement officers have always faced threats while on duty, but within the past few years, and especially in today’s climate, officers have become a target for violence solely because of the uniform they wear.
So far this year, 120 officers have been shot in the line of duty, 25 of whom were killed. There have been 24 ambush attacks on law enforcement officers, which has resulted in 30 officers being shot, 9 of whom were killed.
Those in our profession have always been in harm’s way—it is nothing new. Although we go to work each day to protect others, it should not be “part of the job” to be a target for someone who is looking to simply kill a cop. The description of the job we sign up for does not require that we be assaulted and killed. We do not accept the fact that our uniforms alone justify the type of heinous, targeted violence many of our fellow officers have encountered. Your legislation would send a clear message to those who target, kill, or attempt to kill a law enforcement or other public safety officer that they will be held accountable and punished to the fullest extent of the law.
On behalf of the more than 356,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I am proud to offer our support for this legislation. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington office.