H.R. 324 (112th Congress) To amend title 10, United States Code, to provide police officers, criminal investigators and game law enforcement officers of the Department of Defense with authority to execute warrants, make arrests and carry firearms. sign now

I am writing in support of H.R 324. The purpose of this bill is simply stated: to provide civilian police officers, civilian criminal investigators, and civilian game law enforcement officers of the Department of Defense, with authority to execute warrants, make arrests and carry firearms.

Many federal officials--for example, the U.S. Capital Police and U.S. Park Police--are classified as law enforcement officers, a classification that comes with certain salary, retirement benefits, and statutory powers of arrest. But the officers and investigators under the Department of Defense (Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps)officers and investigators who are trained to carry weapons, who wear body armor, and who face the same daily risks as law enforcement officers are not so classified. However, these other officers and investigators are the same officers and investigators who enforce federal, state and local laws under the authority of a Uniformed Military Official.

As federal officers and investigators, we make arrests and risk our lives protecting others to include the President of the United States, members of the United States Congress, military service members and private citizens. We are routinely threatened and assaulted in the line of dutyour officers have been beaten, stabbed, shot, and even killed. At retirement, however, we are not recognized as law enforcement officers. We are only truly recognized as law enforcement officers when our names are placed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial... after losing our lives in the line of duty.

Aside from correcting the inequity for officers and investigators of the Department of Defense, the bill's passage would give Department of Defense civilian police officers, civilian criminal investigators and civilian game law enforcement officers statutory powers of arrest, and would take the arrest authority away from the Uniformed Military Official, who is normally biased in the response of civilian law enforcement activities on Department of Defense properties. We often watch criminal acts in progress and are unable to take action due to our lack of statutory powers of arrest and are told to release criminal offenders with warrants, drunk drivers and suspects arrested for Domestic Violence. This subjects the Department of Defense, Department of Defense civilian police officer, civilian criminal investigator and civilian game law enforcement officer to potential liability for civil law suits. We even tie up the services of local law enforcement agencies, which must then come and take suspects into custody for us. These acts are wasteful to the tax payers dollar because two agencies are having to do the job we as Department of Defense civilian police officer, civilian investigators and civilian game law enforcement officers could have done our selves.

The bills passage would also reduce the number of officers leaving our ranks for other, officially recognized policing entities to receive the recognition that local police agencies provide but ours currently does not. The turnover we experience is costly in terms of training and budget costs.

As Department of Defense civilian police officers, civilian criminal investigators and civilian game law enforcement officers, we are required drive marked police vehicles with law enforcement emergency lights and sirens. While performing our duties, we carry a firearm, we wear bullet-resistant body armor; and we wear a uniform that while deterring some serves as a target to others. We conduct preliminary investigations, respond to robberies, burglaries, and other emergencies. As we drive between federal facilities, we are often called upon to assist local police and persons in need beyond the lines of federal property, however we cannot as we are limited in the actions we can take to protect life and property.

As Department of Defense civilian police officers, civilian criminal investigators and civilian game law enforcement officers, we are held to a law enforcement standard.

I call on you today to recognize the unique and hazardous work that is performed daily by all Department of Defense civilian police officers, civilian criminal investigators and civilian game law enforcement officers. You must pass this law. Please show your support for law enforcement by co-sponsoring H.R. 324, and amending Title 10, United States Code, to provide police officers, criminal investigators, and game law enforcement officers of the Department of Defense with authority to execute warrants, make arrests, and carry firearms.

I thank you for your continued support of all of our men and women serving in law enforcement.


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Shari CastilloBy:
Justice, rights and public orderIn:
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U.S. Congress

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