NSA Capitol Watch Newsletter November 2011
On Capitol Hill

The Senate returns from a week-long recess to continue working on the FY12 Agriculture-CJS-Transportation Appropriations "Minibus." Passage of the "Minibus" is expected later in the week. 


The House will take up several non-controversial resolutions, as well as discussing legislation pertaining to the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and its rules for allowing small businesses to raise money. 


The House Judiciary Committee will hold several hearings this week, including an oversight hearing of the Office of Justice Programs and a hearing on how smart policing targets criminal behavior in the 21st Century. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on combating international organized crime. 


Additionally, the Joint Super Committee continues to work toward a $1.2 trillion deficit-reduction plan by the looming Nov. 23rd deadline.

In This Issue

aFY12 Ag-CJS-Transportation "Minibus" Appropriations Package Moves Forward in Senate
The Senate has been working to pass a series of mini-appropriations packages, known as a "Minibus" for the FY12 funding cycle. First on their agenda is the Agriculture-CJS-Transportation "Minibus" Appropriations package.

The FY12 "Minibus" includes the funding recommended by the Senate CJS Appropriations Subcommittee for FY12 - including $395M for Byrne JAG; $232M for COPS ($200M for COPS Hiring); $273M for SCAAP; and $10M for COPS Meth. Those numbers are expected to remain in the final "Minibus" bill when it passes the Senate during the week of Oct. 31st.

In regards to the "Minibus" bill, several amendments were offered to the CJS portion of the bill during the week of Oct. 17th. One amendment, known as the "Fast and Furious Amendment" proposed providing zero funding for programs that include the transfer of firearms to drug cartels unless law enforcement continuously monitors the weapons "at all times." The amendment, introduced by Sen. Cornyn (R-TX), passed unanimously 99-0 (with one Senator unavailable for votes).

Additionally, Sen. Webb (R-VA) proposed an amendment which would create and fund a National Criminal Justice Commission. The purpose of the Commission would be to conduct a comprehensive review of the entire criminal justice system; make reform recommendations to the Administration and Congress; identify best practices in criminal justice throughout the country. NSA strongly supported Sen. Webb's legislation, and subsequent amendment, as a review of the criminal justice system has not occurred in more than 40 years.

Despite the best efforts of the nation's sheriffs; the NSA; and a host of law enforcement; community; victims; advocacy; and faith based organizations, we fell short of the 60 votes needed to pass the amendment, with a final vote of 57-43. NSA will be meeting with our law enforcement and advocacy partners to discuss strategy for passing this important legislation in the coming weeks. The Senate is predicted to pass the FY12 Ag-CJS-Transportation "Minibus" Appropriations package during the week of Oct. 31st.
bAMW Host Calls on Congress to Allocate the D Block to Public Safety
On October 26th, John Walsh, victims' advocate; crime fighter; and host of "America's Most Wanted" held a press conference with the Public Safety Alliance (PSA) to plead with Congress to dedicate the D Block spectrum to public safety for an interoperable broadband public safety network.

Mr. Walsh emphasized the ability of a national network to provide instantaneous results. It would allow the police in Arizona to instantaneously alert the police in Ohio who issued an Amber Alert that the suspect's license plate was just read by police in Arizona, as well as the officer and those nearby that the suspect is wanted in Ohio. Mr. Walsh affirmed that eliminating this communication delay would save many lives.

In addition, this stronger network would increase the communication between different departments in the same city. In New York City during 9/11, the Port Authority was not able to communicate with the Police Department. No one was in charge; there was no chain of command. Communication - reliable, instantaneous communication - provided by the dedication of the D Block to public safety, is the key to ensuring that if and when an event like that happens again, be it a hurricane, earthquake, or blizzard, public safety and law enforcement can effectively work together to save lives.
cCOPS Office Releases Report on Policing During Economic Downturn
On Oct. 24th, the COPS Office unveiled their report titled - "The Impact of Economic Downturn on American Police Agencies."

The report examines the devastating effects that the economic downturn has placed on local law enforcement agencies nationwide: from the expectation that nearly 12,000 local law enforcement will have been laid-off by the end of 2011 to significant budgetary constraints facing local law enforcement agencies to the fundamental change of law enforcement services due to the economic downturn.

To read the full report, please visit: http://cops.usdoj.gov/RIC/ResourceDetail.aspx?RID=619.
dLEGISLATIVE PUSH: Continued Outreach on Hatch Act Legislation Needed
SHERIFFS: Continue contacting your Members of Congress (both in the House and Senate) and urge them to cosponsor HR498/S1562 - the State and Local Law Enforcement Hatch Act Reform Act of 2011.

We continue to work to move the legislation through the various chambers; however, the more support we have for the bill, the easier to move the bill!

For sample letters of support and a fact sheet on the bills, please contact Stephanie Garlock at sgarlock@sheriffs.org or 703-838-5316.
e2012 OVC Mass Violence & Emergency National Training Conference 

Registration for the 2012 OVC Mass Violence & Emergency National Training Conference which will be held in Jacksonville, Florida from January 31-February 2, 2012 is now Open!  For additional details on how to register, apply for team scholarships, and to make lodging reservations, please visit



All conference related questions should be directed to Fox Valley Technical College by calling their toll free number at (877) 798-7682 or by sending an e-mail to obrien@fvtc.edu.


The event is sponsored by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice. 
fUPCOMING: NSA 2012 Winter Conference Reminder
NSA's 2012 Winter Conference is just around the corner - have you made your plans to attend?

The Conference will be held on January 18-21, 2012 in Washington, D.C., at the J.W. Marriott Hotel (1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW).

NSA is pleased to announce that ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske and U.S. Marshals Service Director Stacia Hylton will be keynoting the January 20th Plenary Session. We are currently working on finalizing our speakers for the Thursday, January 19th Plenary Session.

The Winter Conference is the perfect opportunity to meet with your Members of Congress to discuss critical issues affecting your office. As such, we encourage you to schedule meetings with your Members of Congress during our Hill Day on Wednesday, January 18th.

Additionally, we would invite you to attend the "Capitol Hill Briefing Session" on Wednesday, January 18th from 8:30AM-9:30AM held in the Garden Terrace (Lobby Level). This session, held by NSA's Government Affairs Division, will provide sheriffs with talking points, an overview of NSA's legislative issues, and allow opportunity for any last minute questions before heading to Capitol Hill.

For more information and the current agenda for the 2012 Winter Conference, please visit www.sheriffs.org.

We look forward to seeing you in Washington!
News & Updates
Save the Date!
2012 Winter Conference
January 18-22, 2012
JW Marriott
Washington, DC

If you have any questions, please contact:
Stephanie Garlock


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