On October 1, 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed into law a measure to officially designate May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week in which that date falls as National Police Week. During this week, people across the United States take time to remember and honor law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty protecting our communities.
This week reminds us how great of risk law enforcement officers take to keep us safe. It also reminds us that we must ensure we support law enforcement officers with both the resources to protect our communities and the laws to discourage violence against police officers.
That’s why, in advance of National Police Week, I signed on as a cosponsor of the Back the Blue Act. This legislation would create a new federal crime for killing, attempting to kill, or conspiring to kill a federal judge, law enforcement officer or federally funded public safety officer. In the event that the crime results in a death, the mandatory sentencing requirement would be 30 years.
This bill also creates a new federal crime for assaulting a federally funded law enforcement officer. This law would include escalating penalties and mandatory minimum sentencing based on the injury and weapon used.
Under this law, law enforcement officers are also given expanded self-defense and Second Amendment right by permitting them to carry firearms into facilities and jurisdictions where it would otherwise be prohibited. Additionally, this would open up the grant funding to help police departments continue to strengthen the relations with the community they serve in.
Law enforcement officers play a critical role in keeping our communities safe every day. The Back the Blue Act is just one way we can give back to those who protect us by ensuring the law is behind them to keep them safer. As we consider legislation in Congress affecting law enforcement officers, I will continue to Back the Blue.
It is my honor to serve you in the House of Representatives, and I invite you call my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015, Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968, Lancaster office at (740) 654-2654, or Wilmington office at (937) 283-7049 if I can be of assistance with any issue facing the federal government. I also encourage you to subscribe to my email newsletter at stivers.house.gov.
Steve Stivers is a member of Congress from Ohio’s 15th Congressional District.