Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) today gave the following statement on the House floor in support of the American Law Enforcement Heroes Act (H.R. 1428).

Chairman Goodlatte: Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Police officers and military veterans have much in common.  Both wear uniforms. Both protect and serve. And both face great physical risk in executing their duties. It is understandable, then, that many military servicemen and women seek employment as police officers upon returning to civilian life.

Similarly, police departments are seeking men and women who are physically and mentally fit to assume these roles, who are used to working in teams, and who have experience making quick decisions under stress. To a police department, a military veteran may be a perfect fit.

In recent years, we have strived for community-oriented approaches to policing.  A community-oriented approach requires officers not just to enforce laws but to wear many other hats, like first aid provider, social worker, counselor, crisis manager, and peacemaker. If there is a problem, we expect the police to solve it.

The knowledge, skill, and abilities military veterans bring to police departments enhance the departments’ problem-solving mission.

H.R. 1428, the American Law Enforcement Heroes Act of 2017, is good legislation introduced by our colleague, the gentleman from Texas.  The bill authorizes grantees who receive grants under the Community Oriented Policing Services program at the Department of Justice, commonly known as “COPS,” to be used for prioritizing the hiring and training of military veterans.

When military veterans return from deployment and enter civilian life, it is important we recognize their sacrifices by assuring they can attain employment and support their families. This bill helps to ensure veterans can do that.

I would like to thank Mr. Hurd for introducing this legislation, and I urge my colleagues to support it.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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