News Item:
Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, welcomed news that the President had signed into law H.R. 4310, the "National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)." Section 1089 of the bill, now law, contains language which clarifies that civilian law enforcement officers employed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) unambiguously meet the definitions in the Law Enforcement Officers' Safety Act (LEOSA).

"Because of the hard work of the FOP, the amendment to the LEOSA which unanimously passed the Senate early last month was retained in the final version of the legislation," Canterbury said. "There is no longer any doubt that civilian law enforcement officers employed by the Defense Department meet the definitions in the Federal statute."

The language in Section 1089 clarifies the definitions of "qualified active" and "qualified retired" law enforcement officer to include officers who have or had the authority to apprehend suspects under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The text was crafted with the assistance of Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, and in consultation with Representative Lamar S. Smith (R-TX), then-Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, as well as the Office of Law Enforcement and Support within the Defense Department. Former Senator James H. Webb, Jr. (D-VA), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, sponsored the amendment, which was unanimously adopted by the Senate.

"We are deeply grateful to Senators Leahy and Webb and to Representative Smith for their strong commitment to see this language retained, especially given the many provisions and differences that had to be worked out in the final days of Congress," Canterbury said. "Their tenacity and perseverance really paid off for our members employed by the DoD."

The President signed the bill on Wednesday, 2 January, at which point the changes became law.

View the text of the bill at here.