H.R. 1073 Law Enforcement Officer's Equity Act sign now

Dear Representative,

I am writing to you to ask your assistance in a matter that is of great importance to the Federal Law Enforcement Officers that each of you has in your district. HR 1073, The Law Enforcement Officers Equity Act, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Bob Filner and John McHugh. The purpose of this legislation is to give law enforcement retirement benefits to the approximately 38 uniformed federal police agencies that do not have it currently. Currently if one of the officers who are in a non-covered position is killed in the line of duty, that individual's survivors get to see the name put on the wall in Washington. They receive a very limited benefit (usually limited to life insurance) and a thank you. Is this any way to treat an individual who puts on gun and a badge and goes to work every day protecting life and property? This act would provide benefits and relief to these officers, many of whom work well into their 60's and some into their 70's because the current pension system barely provides enough to live on.

In the 106th Congress, the FOP provided testimony on behalf of the version of HR 1841 that was being considered at that time (HR 1228). In his testimony, President Gallegos was very firm in his support for this bill and the protections and benefits that it would provide. The Treasury Department then came in and told the members of Congress that this bill would cost in excess of $1.2 Billion. We began to question this amount that was being tossed around and after a fact finding session with representatives of the OPM, no one could tell how that number was arrived at. In actual numbers run on a large group of Treasury employees who would be included in the bill, it was determined that if 100\% of the officers chose to participate, it would raise the payroll costs approximately 10-12\% per year.

In that in the Federal Sector, there are a group of people who could not, for one reason or another, be included in the program. We estimate that no more than 75\% of the eligible people would participate in the retirement program, thus making the costs substantially less.

One thing I would mention is the number of MSPB cases that have been decided in favor of 083 police officers over the last five years. A good one is Bremby v. Navy (decided in 1997). More recent cases include Watson v. Navy (July 2000) and Hamilton, Hill, and Stevenson v. DoD (March 2000). These cases, and many others, highlight the need for a second look at OPMs often tortured interpretation of who does and does not qualify for LEO retirement based on the definition contained in the US Code.

There are documented cases of DOD, VA and Postal Police Officers who have been killed or seriously injured in the line of duty and possibly others. We ask in the name of these people and all who proudly serve this country as the first line of defense against crime and terrorism that you support these bills and please sign on as a co-sponsor. These people deserve this and with the current human capital crisis in the federal sector, can we afford not to attempt to hire and retain quality people?

Thank you for your time.

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Rebecca KirbyBy:
City LifeIn:
Petition target:
U.S. Congress


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