WASHINGTON, D.C. – During National Police Week, which recognizes the service and sacrifice of our police officers, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) joined three pieces of legislation that aim to support law enforcement officers and increase their safety. The Back the Blue Act, the Providing Officers with Electronic Resources (POWER) Act, and the Protect Our Law Enforcement with Immigration Control and Enforcement (POLICE) Act would increase penalties for attacks targeting law enforcement officers, provide funding and training for law enforcement officers to utilize chemical screening devices, and makes assault on a law enforcement officer a deportable offense.
“Our brave law enforcement officers defend communities across our state from crime, while providing safety and peace of mind for our families. There must be swift penalties in place for criminals who target our officers, and resources must be available to ensure their safety as they handle deadly narcotics,” Senator Capito said. “I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce several pieces of legislation that protect our law enforcement officers, as they courageously protect West Virginians.”
The Back the Blue Act:
Senator Capito and 38 of her Senate Republican colleagues introduced the Back the Blue Act – legislation led by John Cornyn (R-Texas) – which would increase penalties for criminals who target law enforcement officers and provide new tools for officers to protect themselves. Specifically, the legislation strengthens laws to protect police officers, creates a specific aggravating factor for federal death penalty prosecutions, limits federal habeas relief for murders of law enforcement officers, and expands self-defense and second amendment rights for law enforcement officers.
The POWER Act:
Senator Capito co-sponsored the POWER Act – legislation led by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio.) – to provide state and local law enforcement with high-tech devices to detect and identify dangerous drugs like fentanyl. Specifically, the legislation would establish a new grant program through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to help state and local law enforcement organizations secure these high-tech, portable screening devices.
The POLICE Act:
Senator Capito, along with U.S. Senator Ted Budd (R-N.C.), introduced the POLICE Act. This legislation adds assault on a law enforcement officer to the list of deportable offenses in the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Senator Capito also joined in the introduction of a resolution that designates the week of May 14 – May 20, 2023 as National Police Week and honors the fallen officers from the past year. Full text of the resolution is available here.
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