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Davis, LaHood To Introduce Legislation To Raise Police Salaries, Hire More Police Officers

Next week, U.S. Representatives Rodney Davis and Darin LaHood will introduce the David Dorn Back the Blue Act in the House to raise police officer salaries and hire more police officers.


“I’m proud to support the men and women of law enforcement in Congress,” said Rep. Davis. “They have a tough job, and we should be doing everything we can to support them. We can start by increasing funding for law enforcement and making sure they have the resources they need to do their jobs and keep our communities safe. We should also reject calls from some Democrats who want to ‘defund the police.’ It’s one of the most dangerous ideas I’ve ever heard. I wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for the brave actions of two Capitol Police officers who ran towards gunfire. That’s why Rep. LaHood and I will introduce legislation on this issue in the House - to stand with and support law enforcement officers in Illinois and across the country.”


“As a federal prosecutor, I spent countless hours with law enforcement officials who do heroic work, day-in-and-day-out, to protect and serve our communities in central and west-central Illinois, said Rep. LaHood. “It’s disappointing that some politicians and big-city mayors have sought to undermine the ability of our law enforcement to protect and serve in recent months. I am proud to join Congressman Rodney Davis to introduce the David Dorn Back the Blue Act because I see firsthand the sacrifices the men and women who button up the blue uniform make to keep Illinoisans safe. To Illinois police officers: I support you and will always have your back in Congress.”


Illinois law enforcement associations representing officers, chiefs of police, and sheriffs released the following joint statement in support of the David Dorn Back the Blue Act:


“At a time when the men and women of law enforcement are under attack and at risk of losing critical funding, we appreciate the strong leadership of Congressmen Rodney Davis and Darin LaHood in supporting law enforcement and making sure we have the resources needed to do our jobs. In many areas, violent crime is on the rise, and the need for increased law enforcement funding and new officers on the beat is bigger than ever. Law enforcement officers across Illinois urge Congress to pass the David Dorn Back the Blue Act to protect and promote public safety. Thank you to Congressmen Davis and LaHood for introducing this legislation in the U.S. House.”


The above quote can be attributed to:

  • Chris Southwood, President of the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police

  • Jim Kaitschuk, Executive Director of the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association

  • Chief James R. Black, President, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and chief of police in Crystal Lake

The David Dorn Back the Blue Act will:

  • Authorize $15 billion through the Department of Justice to help state and local law enforcement departments to boost their department personnel.

  • Provide funding for additional officer hires and officer retention for departments that need more manpower on their police forces.

  • Give pay raises to officers by allowing recipients to use federal funds to raise the salaries of officers up to 110 percent of the local median earnings.

  • Exclude cities that defund their police by not allowing any department to receive money for pay raises that recently cut officer salaries.

The legislation is named in honor of David Dorn, a retired St. Louis Police captain, who was killed on June 2, 2020, while protecting a friend’s store during a violent night of rioting in St. Louis. He served for 38 years with the St. Louis Police Department.


The legislation will be introduced when the House returns next week. This legislation will be the House companion of legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Josh Hawley on September 8th.


Rep. Davis also supports the police reforms outlined in U.S. Senator Tim Scott’s JUSTICE Act. You can find out more information about that legislation here.


Background:

America’s law enforcement officers are under siege:

  • Police departments across the country face increasing retirements and separation of officers, while they struggle to hire new officers.

  • Many state and local law enforcement agencies report decreasing morale among officers as they face increasing violence and their work is vilified.

  • Police departments struggle to pay officers a salary commensurate with the challenging work as officers face increasing rioting and violence.

  • Meanwhile, in the face of growing crime, many cities led by Democrats are threatening to “defund the police” and slash law enforcement budgets.

To address these crises, the federal government must assist with the hiring and funding of additional police officers to protect our communities.