ACTION ALERT! Tell Congress to Help Save Police Officer Lives
By urging them to support the Protect & Serve Act
Police officers are increasingly being slaughtered on American streets. For the simple act of wearing a uniform and badge.
Ambush-style attacks on cops were on the U.S. Department of Justice’s radar in 2015. And in 2021 alone, there was a 115% increase in these deliberate and calculated acts over the previous year, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) recently reported.
Here’s the thing: you and I have the power to put an end to this by urging members of Congress to support the Protect & Serve Act.
The Protect & Serve Act Has the Potential to Save Officer Lives
In response to an increase in police ambushes, FOP worked with members of Congress in 2018 to craft a bill making it a federal crime to knowingly target a police officer. It passed in the House by a landslide, then fizzled.
A similar bill was reintroduced this past summer. It’s called the Protect & Serve Act of 2021 (S.774 / H.R. 3079). If passed, it would be an amendment to Chapter 7 (Assault) of Title 18 (Crimes and Criminal Procedure).
During an FOP legislative briefing this past Monday, I learned that this bill is a priority.
You can read (and follow progress of) the entire bill here. In short, the Protect & Serve Act makes it a federal offense to purposefully target a police officer in specific circumstances. If found guilty, an offender could face up to 10 years in prison or a term of life if the officer died as a result of the attack.
Where the Protect & Serve Act Currently Stands
The fact that this bill is not further along than it currently is shows the priorities of our elected officials.
Movement on the Protect & Serve Act Thus Far
5/11/21: Introduced in the House.
5/11/21: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
11/9/21: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
Granted, any legislation takes time to pass, and requires robust debate and public input. (That’s how it should work, anyway.) That said, ambushes on cops have been increasing since at least 2015. Given that other bills are prioritized, why has one that so deeply affects public safety and that has the potential to save officer lives, languished?
Urge Your Congressperson to Support the Protect & Serve Act
First find out if your congressperson already supports the Protect & Serve Act. The bill currently has 65 co-sponsors on the House side. (Mine is not on there.)
If your congressperson is on the list, take a moment to send a thank you, whether in-person, by phone, email, or social media.
If your congressperson is not on the list, urge that person to co-sponsor the bill, or at the least, to support it when it’s up for a vote.
What to Say to Your Congressperson
When speaking with, or writing to your federal representative, you might want to consider using the following talking points.
Explain that you’re a constituent concerned about police officer safety, and that their well-being impacts their ability to be effective guardians.
Ambush-style attacks on police officers have been on the rise since at least 2015. In 2021, ambushes increased 115% from the previous year.
Coupled with other factors (defunding measures; zealous prosecutions; demonization by elected officials & news media; ongoing riots; and bail reform, for example), these attacks have damaged officer morale. The fallout has become evident, in part, via police staffing shortages across the country. With fewer available high-caliber, well-trained police officers, we are all less safe.
This is why I urge you to co-sponsor the Protect & Serve Act of 2021. If passed, it would make it a federal crime to knowingly attack a police officer. This would serve as a strong deterrent, thus having the potential to save officer lives.
Offer to set up an in-person or virtual meeting to discuss.
What to Keep in Mind When Talking to Your Representative
You are not wasting your representative’s time. They work for us, not the other way around.
Be polite, but unwavering. We have the facts on our side - let them speak for themselves.
Get the name of the staffer you spoke with and take notes. What was their response and reaction? Were they aware of the bill? Do you think your representative may support it? If not, why not? Did they agree to an in-person or virtual meeting to discuss further?
Request a written follow-up from your congressperson regarding this issue so you have an official record on file.
After Your Conversation
Let the FOP know that you spoke with your member of Congress, and include a short summary of your conversation.
If you’re uncomfortable doing that, you can always contact me, and I’ll be happy to forward the information to them. You can contact me via messaging on Twitter or if you subscribe to my newsletter, by simply pressing reply.
Then congratulate yourself for taking meaningful action for our nation’s cops, and by extension, for the future of our country.
We have two options - to sit back and complain amongst ourselves and on social media, and hope for the best; or we can take meaningful action that can potentially save police officer lives and aid in boosting their morale. I have confidence that you’ll opt to do the right thing.