WASHINGTON, D.C. – In honor of National Police Week, U.S. Representatives Mike Bost (IL-12) Rodney Davis (IL-13) and Darin LaHood (IL-18) recently introduced the David Dorn Back the Blue Act. The bill would authorize $15 billion through the U.S. Department of Justice to help state and local law enforcement agencies hire and retain officers. It 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.
“Defunding the police will not make our communities safer – in fact, the statistics prove the opposite,” said Bost. “Now more than ever, it is critical that we provide our men and women in blue with the resources and training they need to keep our communities safe. I’m proud to once again support the David Dorn Back the Blue Act and stand with our law enforcement officials in Southern Illinois and around the nation,”
“I’m proud to support the men and women of law enforcement in Congress,” said 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. I’m proud to reintroduce this legislation and stand with 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 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.”
Provisions Included in the David Dorn Back the Blue Act
- Authorizes $15 billion through the Department of Justice to help state and local law enforcement departments to boost their department personnel.
- Retains existing funding for the Mental Health and Wellness Act services at a minimum level in an effort to not negatively impact existing mental health services; provides that only funding appropriated over the currently authorized level of $7.5M can be used for the purposes of the bill.
- Provides funding for additional officer hires and officer retention for departments that need more manpower on their police forces.
- Gives 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.
- Excludes cities that defund their police by not allowing any department to receive money for pay raises that recently cut officer salaries.
- Includes language to ensure that an agency that has reduced salaries in the year prior due to COVID-19 related budget constraints are not penalized, only those seeking to dismantle law enforcement agencies.