Defunding. Crime and violence will not go away with disbanding local law enforcement. Simply cutting police budgets is dangerous. In many communities, the police are the only option and must respond to every call for assistance. We do welcome the expansion of community-based social services, including resources to appropriately address mental health, substance abuse, and homelessness problems that law enforcement cannot solve.

1033 Program. The federal 1033 program provides de-militarized equipment to give local police agencies the option of having additional resources to defend civilians and officers from extraordinary and immediate threats to public safety.

  • The equipment has been stripped of all military weapons and repurposed for public safety use. This is an efficient use of surplus military equipment that has no further DOD use.

  • State and local law enforcement agencies have the decision-making authority to deploy the equipment.

  • No data is showing the agencies have misused the equipment.

Some departments are not up to date with the latest models and policies to run effective programs that protect communities and gain trust. These agencies need access to additional resources to make sure they use the most up-to-date training programs and recruitment strategies.

The Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police has had positive and productive conversations with Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate to build a bipartisan consensus on legislation to improve policing in our country.

We believe that there are broad areas of agreement and that it Is possible to build consensus on issues like data collection, FOP-supported accreditation, expanded use of body-worn cameras and improved training. We also need to work for more consistent adoption of Louisiana accepted use of force models.

Many law enforcement agencies have already done the right things, by implementing good policies on screening, training, and supervision.

Other agencies are examining how they can improve the way they police their communities and are struggling to find resources and guidance to affect real change and reform.

The efforts of the Louisiana FOP-the voice of Louisiana's law enforcement officers-will remain highly engaged with members of the Legislature as the legislative process continues.