Washington, D.C. – In honor of Police Week, the House of Representatives passed five bills under suspension of the rules to help law enforcement identify the guilty and free the innocent, honor the sacrifices of first responders and law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, and enhance training in cyber and electronic crime.
First, the House approved the Rapid DNA Act of 2017 (H.R. 510), authored by Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), by voice vote. This bill helps identify the guilty and free the innocent by allowing Rapid DNA analysis machines to be used at local police stations. Rapid DNA technology expedites DNA analysis for suspect identification purposes and allows local law enforcement to accurately identify a suspect within hours, as opposed to weeks when evidence is shipped off to a lab.
Second, the House passed the American Law Enforcement Heroes Act of 2017 (H.R. 1428), sponsored by Representative Will Hurd (R-Texas), by voice vote. This legislation prioritizes the hiring of veterans by awardees of grants under the COPS Hiring program.
Third, the House passed the Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act of 2017 (H.R. 1616), sponsored by Representative John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), by a vote of 408-3. This bill authorizes a program that has been run by the U.S. Secret Service for a number of years that trains state and local law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges regarding cyber and electronic crimes.
Fourth, the House approved the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Improvement Act (S. 419), sponsored by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), by voice vote. This bill provides for transparency in the processing of claims in the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits program and codifies measures to ensure the system is streamlined and operates in a fair manner.
And finally, the House approved the Honoring Hometown Heroes Act (H.R. 1892), sponsored by Representative John Larson (D-Conn.), by a vote of 411-1. This legislation honors law enforcement by permitting the American flag to be flown at half-staff when a police officer, firefighter, or first responder is killed in the line of duty.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the following statement on House passage of these bills to protect and honor law enforcement.
Chairman Goodlatte: “Police Week is an opportunity for all Americans to express our gratitude for the steadfast valor of our federal, state, and local law enforcement. These brave men and women make many sacrifices as they enforce our laws, protect our communities from danger, and bring criminals to justice.
“The House of Representatives has taken steps to repay the debt of gratitude that is owed to all our law enforcement officers by passing five bills designed to honor their sacrifices and ensure that these brave men and women who serve us have the tools needed to do their job and keep the public safe.”