Thursday, May 23, 2019

Bill Introduced to End Sanctuary Cities

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is continuing his longstanding effort to protect communities from violent criminals who are in the United States illegally.

Thursday, Senator Toomey re-introduced the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act, which would put an end to dangerous sanctuary city policies that forbid local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities, even when they wish to do so.

“It is past time to put an end to dangerous sanctuary city policies,” said Senator Toomey. “These policies – like the ones in Philadelphia and San Francisco – make it harder to stop illegal immigration and keep dangerous criminals off the streets. Sanctuary cities extend a special protection to illegal immigrants even when federal immigration officials identity them as a threat to public safety. This is simply inexcusable, and I urge my colleagues to help pass this commonsense measure.”

Joining Senator Toomey in introducing the bill were Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and John Kennedy (R-La.).

“Sanctuary cities keep criminal aliens on our streets, and we will no longer tolerate their willful defiance of our nation’s laws,” said Senator Cotton. “Public safety must come first. If you’re not following the law, you shouldn’t get taxpayer dollars, period.”

“Sanctuary cities like San Francisco, Seattle and New York happily accept federal money, but they are just as eager to ignore our nation’s immigration laws,” said Senator Kennedy. “These liberal cities actively impede federal immigration enforcement efforts, which only encourages more illegal immigration. I’m a proud co-sponsor of the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act because it sends a clear message to these cities that if they choose to ignore the rule of law, they don’t deserve hard-earned taxpayer dollars.”


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Ohio senators introduce bill to help local law enforcement detect drugs more effectively

Ohio senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman continue their fight against drugs and helping officers on the front lines. 
The latest step is giving them the ability to detect and identify dangerous drugs. 
Cocaine, heroin, meth and fentanyl are all dangerous drugs, but fentanyl is considered the worst. 
"This is the one drug that when law enforcement comes into contact with, it makes you sick or can even kill you," said Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene.
"Physically, you can't tell the difference between what might be fentanyl and what might be cocaine or some other substance," said Youngstown police chief Robin Lees.
Greene and Lees are two of the people heralding the two senators introducing the Power Act. This act will build on the Interdict Act, which was signed into law by President Trump last year.
That provided drug screening devices at the U.S. border. Potentially getting them to local law enforcement around the country would be a big benefit to drug screening.
"They can test it quickly rather than taking the substance back to the lab and not being able to make the arrest right away," Brown said. 
A backlog for crime labs can lead to delays. The Power Act wants to get these handheld devices into the hands of local law enforcement agencies around the nation. This would help identify drugs quicker than they do now. 
"There is no reason for anybody to oppose it other than the dollar figure. The dollar figure now is only $20 million, which won't buy nearly as many of these devices as we need," Brown said.
However, it would be a start. The Power Act is supported by law enforcement organizations across the country. It needs to be approved by the House, Senate and President Trump.

Monday, May 20, 2019

NY State Troopers’ PBA Against Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Aliens

ALBANY – The State Police PBA is against proposed “greenlight legislation” that would allow the issuance of driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants and hamper troopers’ abilities to access identifying information, the union said.
The proposal has the backing of Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson and other immigration and social conscience groups.
 “This is dangerous and extremist legislation,” said PBA President Thomas Mungeer. “It flies in the face of proponents of the bill who are touting this as a highway safety measure.”
The PBA said it is a public safety issue to have unlicensed drivers on the roads. “We will always encourage a higher level of safety for New York and will support initiatives to make it a safer and more secure place in which to live,” Mungeer said. “Furthermore, allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses using less stringent identification than the minimum security standards for state residents seeking a license is an insult.”
The union president said even more troubling in the proposed legislation is the caveat that would require troopers and law enforcement officers to obtain a subpoena to run plates or look up a driver’s license – “and if that weren’t troubling enough, the proposal also states that we must notify the individual before doing so.” 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

New York State Passes a Bill to Stop Evicting Tenants Who Call the Police for Help

When a property is the site of "too many" 911 calls, the city may fine the property owner or even seek to close the property.

To preempt city action, some landlords often evict or threaten to evict the tenants who called 911, refuse to renew their leases, or tell them to stop calling for help.

The State Legislature however recently passed a bill—unanimously in the Assembly and 58 to 1 in the Senate—to protect tenants from eviction based on their calls for help.

Cities often enact local laws called nuisance ordinances that label certain properties as “nuisances” based on the amount of 911 calls or emergency responses at that property, regardless of the reason for the call, the tenant’s role in the dispute, or whether the person was requesting medical assistance.

Nuisance ordinances harm landlords as well by forcing them into an impossible choice. They can either let tenants who have called for help stay in their homes and risk getting fined or having their property taken away. Or they can kick their tenants out.

If Governor Cuomo signs the legislation into law, New York will be the tenth state (plus the District of Columbia) to pass this type of bill.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Thin Blue Line Act introduced to assist with officer safety

US Senator Pat Toomey is pushing for tougher laws to go after those who harm police officers.

Since 2010, 1500 police officers have been killed in the line of duty across the US.  Senator Toomey believes his new bill could help prevent those tragedies from happening.

"I think that, in the tragic event that a police officer falls in the line of duty, we owe that officer justice."

Today, Toomey announcing the reintroduction of the 'Thin Blue Line Act'.  Right now, when a murder victim is a federal law enforcement officer or federal prosecutor, jurors must weigh that as an aggravating factor in favor of the death penalty. This bill would do the same for local law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and first responders.

"If you murder or target a police officer, you should expect the harshest possible penalty."

The bill previously passed the US House in 2017, but never got a vote in the Senate. At the time it received pushback from Civil Rights groups like the 'Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights,' who said the bill could "ultimately exacerbate existing tension between law enforcement and the communities they serve."

The Thin Blue Line Act bill is currently in the US Senate Judiciary Committee.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Federal POLICE Act Reintroduced in Congress

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Representative Trey Hollingsworth (IN-09) introduced the Protecting Officers of the Law In Civilian Establishments (POLICE) Act to rectify a double standard in current federal law that requires law enforcement officers to disarm before entering the federal property.

"This week is National Police Week, a time to reflect on our brave law enforcement officers throughout the country who have given their lives to protect others," said Representative Trey Hollingsworth. "I'm honored to reintroduce the POLICE Act and offer additional protections to our policemen and women who dedicate their lives to keeping us safe."

Recent executive interpretation of federal law currently prohibits state and local law enforcement officers from carrying their agency-issued firearms onto the civilian federal property unless the officers are responding to incidents in progress or are specifically called to the location. This double standard means any officers who might need to visit federal facilities throughout the day would be required to disarm beforehand and would be unable to respond to incidents in their communities until they rearm. In 2017, Floyd County Sheriff Frank Loop contacted Representative Hollingsworth to share his frustration with how this federal law makes his officers vulnerable and unable to respond to an emergency.

Together, Sheriff Loop and Representative Hollingsworth wrote the POLICE Act to allow uniformed law enforcement officers to remain armed on certain civilian public access federal facilities. The POLICE Act ensures our publicly recognizable law enforcement officers are always ready to respond when necessary.


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Federal Back the Blue Act Introduced During Police Week

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has introduced the Back the Blue Act. 
The bill would increase penalties against criminals who intentionally target law enforcement officers and provide new tools for officers to protect themselves. 
“This legislation sends a strong message to the more than 900,000 law enforcement officers serving in our country that we support them and we will not tolerate any act of violence against them, period," said Cornyn.
Strengthens Laws to Protect Police Officers
  • Creates a new federal crime for killing, attempting to kill, or conspiring to kill a federal judge, federal law enforcement officer, or federally funded public safety officer. The offender would be subject to the death penalty and a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years if death results; the offender would otherwise face a minimum sentence of 10 years.
  • Creates a new federal crime for assaulting a federally funded law enforcement officer with escalating penalties, including mandatory minimums, based on the extent of any injury and the use of a dangerous weapon. However, no prosecution can be commenced absent certification by the Attorney General that prosecution is appropriate.
  • Creates a new federal crime for interstate flight from justice to avoid prosecution for killing, attempting to kill, or conspiring to kill a federal judge, federal law enforcement officer, or federally funded public safety officer. The offender would be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for this offense.
Creates a Specific Aggravating Factor for Federal Death Penalty Prosecutions
  • Clarifies that the murder or attempted murder of a law enforcement officer or first responder is a statutory aggravating favor for purposes of the federal death penalty.