Dear Senators Schumer and McConnell,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for S.J. Res. 26, 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 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 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 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.
We understand that the Senate intends to vote on the House resolution as early as this week. We urge all Members of the Senate to support H.J. Res 42 and send it to the President for his signature.
On behalf of the more than 367,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, we hope the Senate will vote 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.