By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
This week is National Police Week and the US Congress has passed a series of bills intended to help Law Enforcement officers.
US Senator Luther Strange (R-Alabama) announced that he was supporting S. 1134, the Back the Blue Act, sponsored by US Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas).
Sen. Strange said, “When I served as Attorney General of Alabama, I had no higher honor than getting to know the brave men and women of the law enforcement community. As we make special note of their service and sacrifice during National Police Week, this bill will make sure that the heroes of our communities are equipped every week with the legal protections they deserve. I am proud to join Senator Cornyn in this important effort, and I look forward to sending a strong message that those who enforce the law are backed by the law.”
The proposal would create new Federal crimes for the killing, attempt, or conspiracy to kill a judge or Federal law enforcement officer and would provide increased authority to punish these offenses, and expands grant money to strengthen relationships between law enforcement and the community.
US Representative Mike Rogers (R-Saks) said that in the House of Representatives was voting on several bills to honor the lives of the fallen and recognize those currently serving.
Rep. Rogers wrote in an email to constituents, “The Honoring Hometown Heroes Act would permit the American flag to be flown at half-staff for any local law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty. The Thin Blue Line Act would add the murder of a police officer as an aggravating factor for a jury to decide on the death penalty.”
US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said, “Yesterday, by a vote of 411 to 1, the House passed the Honoring Hometown Heroes Act. This bill would simply permit the American flag to be flown at half-staff when a police officer, firefighter, or first responder is killed in the line of duty. This is just a small way to honor those who lose their lives while working to keep our communities safe.”
Congressman Rogers wrote that, “Congress also is striving to ensure that law enforcement has all of the tools they need to continue to serve and protect. For example, The Rapid DNA Act of 2017 would help expedite DNA analysis results to help law enforcement identify a suspect much quicker, The Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act of 2017 would help train local officers in cyber and electronic crimes, The American Law Enforcement Heroes Act of 2017 would help prioritize hiring of our Veterans and The Probation Officer Protection Act of 2017 would allow probation officers to arrest an individual if there is probable cause.
These pieces of legislation should go a long way to helping law enforcement do their jobs to keep us safe.”
Congressman Byrne said on social media, “When you lay your head on the pillow tonight, be sure to say a special prayer for the Law Enforcement officers who are out there patrolling the streets and keeping our communities safe. As we celebrate Police Week, may we all set aside time to share our thanks and appreciation with the law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line day in and day out.”
Rogers said, “As of writing, since I have served in Congress, the State of Alabama has lost 60 law enforcement officers – both in the line of duty and off the clock – according to the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP).” “Our hearts go out to the families across Alabama who have lost their loved ones. We will never forget those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and have served their communities. I salute our local Law Enforcement today and every day. Thank you for all you do.”