In recognition of National Police Week, Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) joined a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers in reintroducing the Invest to Protect Act, legislation that will make critical, targeted investments in small and midsize police departments with fewer than 200 sworn officers for the recruitment, retention, mental health support, and training they need to protect themselves and their communities.
“Central Coast law enforcement officers work hard every day to protect our communities, combat gun violence, and keep our families safe,” said Rep. Carbajal. “They shouldn’t have to worry about competing with big city police departments for funding that can help them recruit and train. The Invest to Protect Act would ensure they get the resources they need to do their jobs.”
The bipartisan, bicameral Invest to Protect Act of 2023 will:
- Invest in officer safety, de-escalation, and domestic violence response training, allowing officers to receive critical training that will make them even more effective at their jobs;
- Create grants for small departments to recruit and retain new officers, to help keep their existing officers and recruit new ones;
- Allow departments to provide mental health resources for their officers; and,
- Authorize $50,000,000 of existing funding per year for 5 years for local police departments.
You can find the full text of the Invest to Protect Act here.
Last year, the bipartisan Invest to Protect Act passed the House with 360 votes, including 153 Republicans. The Senate also passed a version of the legislation last year, but the final agreed upon bill was not voted on.
Police departments saw 47% more resignations and nearly 20% more retirements in 2022 compared to 2019. There has been a sharp decline in the number of applicants to police academies. According to a recent study, the rate of PTSD among police officers increased by nearly 30% from January 2020 to April 2021.
Support for the bipartisan, bicameral Invest to Protect Act:
The legislation has 53 co-sponsors in the House. In the Senate, identical companion legislation is being introduced by Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada and Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
The bipartisan Invest to Protect Act is endorsed by the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the National Troopers Coalition (NTC), Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Sergeants Benevolent Association, the National Tactical Officers Coalition, and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.
“Over the last few years, law enforcement officers have faced many challenges and threats to their well-being that have created a dangerous environment for those sworn to protect the public. These challenges have ranged from violence against officers, an increase in violent rhetoric against them, lagging technology, recruitment and retention issues, and mental health concerns. Smaller municipalities are experiencing increased strain on the men and women in blue. We believe that the “Invest to Protect Act” can help our nation’s smaller agencies and departments combat these issues that plague law enforcement officers in smaller municipalities and help these same smaller agencies recruit new officers and retain experienced personnel,” said National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President Patrick Yoes.
“On behalf of PORAC and the more than 78,000 public safety officers we serve, we are proud to be a strong supporter of the Invest to Protect Act – a meaningful piece of bipartisan legislation that would authorize $50 million a year for a new grant program for police departments with fewer than 200 officers,” said Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) President Brian Marvel. “PORAC has been calling for increased grant funding to support our nation’s law enforcement profession for years. Especially with the challenges our state and nation are facing today as a result of rising crime and violence, difficulties in recruiting and retaining officers, and decades of underfunding public safety, investments in our local law enforcement agencies are needed now more than ever.”
The 54 total original cosponsors include Reps. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), John Rutherford (FL-5), Steven Horsford (NV-4), Anthony D’Esposito (NY-4), Elissa Slotkin (MI-7), David Trone (MD-6), David Valadao (CA-22), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1), Pat Ryan (NY-18), Angie Craig (MN-2), Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), Dan Kildee (MI-8), Chris Pappas (NH-1), Susie Lee (NV-3), Eric Sorensen (IL-17), Dean Phillips (MN-3), Don Bacon (NE-2), Joseph Morelle (NY-25), Dina Titus (NV-1), Jill Tokuda (HI-2), Mike Levin (CA-49), Sean Casten (IL-6), Abigail Spanberger (VA-7), Val Hoyle (OR-4), Jim Costa (CA-21), Nikki Budzinski (IL-13), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), Josh Harder (CA-9), Ed Case (HI-1), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-6), Wiley Nickel (NC-13), Eric Swalwell (CA-14), Jared Golden (ME-02), Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (PR), Susan Wild (PA-07), Maria Salazar (FL-27), Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-3), Andy Kim (NJ-3), Frank Pallone (NJ-6), Mike Lawler (NY-17), Thomas Kean (NJ-7), Joe Neguse (CO-2), Don Davis (NC-1), James Moylan (GU), Bruce Westerman (AR-4), Tony Gonzales (TX-23), Jared Moskowitz (FL-23), Seth Magaziner (RI-2), Greg Landsman (OH-1), Ruben Gallego (AZ-3), Derek Kilmer (WA-6), and Gabe Vasquez (NM-2).