National Sheriffs' Association Newsletter: Capitol Watch
April 19, 2012
Vol. 8 Issue 4
On Capitol Hill

The House and Senate resume legislative business following a two-week recess for the Easter/Passover Holiday.


The Senate will consider legislation concerns tax rates for high-income earners.


The House will consider several non-controversial resolutions, as well as continuing to discuss legislation regarding extending transportation programs, which faced challenges in both chambers.


Appropriations Committees in both the House and Senate will begin marking up FY2013 spending bills this week.


In This Issue
Update on Hatch Act Reform Legislation
Marshals Coin Legislation Signed Into Law
House Holds Briefing on Gap in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment
2012 National Drug Control Strategy Unveiled
DEA Holds National Take-Back Initiative on April 28
Join "Team NSA" for National Police Week 5K
UPCOMING: NSA 2012 Annual Conference
Update on Hatch Act Reform Legislation

On March 20, Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) sent a letter to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) regarding HR498 - the State and Local Law Enforcement Hatch Act Reform Act of 2011. In the letter, the Congressman outlines the importance of thelegislation and encourages the Committee to take action on HR498.


We continue to need cosponsors on both HR498 and S1562 (the House and Senate versions of the State and Local Law Enforcement Hatch Act Reform Act of 2011). Sheriffs, please continue to reach out to your Members of Congress and urge their support for this critical legislation. For sample letters and a fact sheet on the legislation, please contact or visit our website at, Government Affairs, Legislative Issues.


Furthermore, NSA continues to work with Congressman Latta and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to move HR498 during the 112th Congress.

Marshals Coin Legislation Signed Into Law 


On April 2, President Obama signed the United States Marshals Service 225th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act (H.R. 886) into law, now P.L.112-104.


Since 1789, the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) has exhibited exemplary and unparalleled success. The U.S. Marshals were the first federal law enforcement officers in America and their diligent work is deeply appreciated by the National Sheriffs' Association. Sheriffs routinely partner with the USMS in the transportation and detainment of federal prisoners, as well as in the execution of federal warrants and fugitive recovery. The U.S. Marshals Service has distinguished itself in its accomplishments of upholding the law and distributing justice.


P.L. 112-104 will facilitate the sale of commemorative coins to honor the 225-year history of the U.S. Marshals Service, as well as provide the funds necessary for the preservation and maintenance of a national museum to honor the legacy of the U.S. Marshals Service. Furthermore, the bill will equally distribute the remaining earnings from the sale of the commemorative coins to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC); the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) to support both the National Law Enforcement Museum and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial; and to the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Foundation (FLEOA).


The U.S. Marshals Service has displayed outstanding and significant accomplishment since its inception more than 200 years ago that merits national recognition. The National Sheriffs' Association believes that the lasting legacy of the U.S. Marshals Service, the nation's oldest federal law enforcement agency, should be honored and was pleased to support P.L. 112-104.


We thank Congressman Steve Womack (R-AR), the bill's sponsor in the House, and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) for all their hard work in getting this legislation passed this year.


House Holds Briefing on Gap in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment 

On March 22, Congressman John Sullivan (R-OK) and Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), co-chairs of the Congressional Addiction Treatment and Recovery Caucus; and Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (D-CA), co-chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus; hosted a briefing in conjunction with the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) on Capitol Hill.


The purpose of the briefing was to examine the impact of current state fiscal crisis' and treatment gap in addressing public substance abuse and mental health treatment systems.


Presenting during the briefing were: Sheriff Brain Gootkin, Gallatin County, MT; Dr. Laura Nelson, Deputy Director of the Arizona Division of Behavioral Health Services & President of the NASMHPD Board of Directors; Mark Stringer, Director of the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse & President of the NASADAD Board of Directors; Dr. Mark Pearlmutter, FACP, Chair and Vice President of the Emergency Medicine Network, Steward Health Care, Boston, MA, representing the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP); and Lindsey Glass, filmmaker, screenwriter, & Co-founder of Reach Out Recovery - Faces & Voices of Recovery.


In his written statement, Sheriff Gootkin (who presented on behalf of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare & the Montana Council of Mental Health Centers) explained that his deputies are experiencing a significant increase in psychiatric emergency calls, leading his deputies inadvertently to become participants in the State of Montana's emergency psychiatric response teams. It is his opinion that the increase in cases that his office and deputies are experience directly relate to the decrease in mental health funding at a state level.


The Sheriff's statement further explained that while there are mental health facilities within his county, they are limited in bed space. When full, it requires his deputies to transport an individual approximately two hours away to the next available facility. This type of transport diverts his deputies from performing their regular duties, which has a significant impact on the daily Sheriff's Office operational function.


Sheriff Gootkin's statement also clearly stated that the reduction in mental health funding in his state and in states across the nation have direct consequences for public safety, as deputies are not able to maintain public order and deter crime. Without available mental health facilities nearby, law enforcement will be tied up transporting individuals farther and farther from the county. Moreover, the Sheriff's statement mentioned that while his deputies are been instructed in crisis training (which is specialized mental health instruction for law enforcement); his deputies are not mental health professionals. His main request to Congress and to his home state was to stop cutting critical funding for community-based mental health services that enable individuals to get the help and care they need.

2012 National Drug Control Strategy Unveiled


On April 17, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) unveiled its 2012 National Drug Control Strategy. The 2012 Strategywas crafted with three facts main facts in mind: addiction is a disease that can be treated; people with substance use disorders can recover; and innovative new criminal justice reforms can stop the revolving door of drug use, crime, incarceration, and re-arrest. 


Additionally, the Strategy focuses on a seven core areas including: (1) strengthening efforts to prevent drug use in our communities; (2) seeking early intervention opportunities in health care; (3) integrating treatment for substance use disorders into health care and supporting recovery; (4) breaking the cycle of drug use, crime, delinquency, and incarceration; (5) disrupting domestic drug trafficking and production; (6) strengthening international partnerships; and (7) improving information systems to better analyze, assess, and locally address drug use and its consequences.


To read the entire 2012 National Drug Control Strategy, please visit: 

DEA Holds National Take-Back Initiative on April 28   

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will be once again holding a national event to "take-back" and properly dispose of prescription medication on April 28.


This will be the fourth-such national event that the DEA has held over the last several years. During the third national event in October 2011, 188.5 tons of prescription medications were collected at approximately 5,300 sites nationwide.


Law enforcement interested in partnering with the DEA should contact their local DEA field office. More information about this event can be found at: 

Join "Team NSA" for National Police Week 5K  

Staff from the National Sheriffs' Association invite you to join our team and participate in the 6th Annual National Police Week 5K. The 5K is an event that supports Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) and the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP), which honors and supports fallen law enforcement officers and their families.


The race will be held on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 9AM in Washington DC, which occurs during National Police Week. The course takes you on a scenic route through downtown DC, ending at the Judiciary Square metro station


If sheriffs or their staff are planning to be in town for National Police Week, NSA invites you to sign-up for the race; join the National Sheriffs' Association team; and run/walk with us! Please find the enclosed link to register for the race: .


If you have any questions about the race, please feel free to contact Stephanie Garlock at or (703) 838-5316.

UPCOMING: NSA 2012 Annual Conference 

SHERIFFS: NSA's 2012 Annual Conference is just a few weeks away - Have you finalized your registration and travel arrangements?


The National Sheriffs' Association 2012 Annual Conference will be held from June 15-20 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN.

Keynote speakers are:

  • Opening General Session (Sunday, June 17)
    • Eric Greitens, PhD, Author, Rhodes Scholar, Humanitarian, Navy SEAL, and Founder of "The Mission Continues," America's leading organization for helping wounded and disabled warriors.
  • General Session II (Monday, June 18)
    • TBD

During the Conference, a multitude of committees will be meet to discuss issues affecting the nation's sheriffs, including Homeland Security; Immigration & Border Security; Congressional Affairs; Emerging Technologies; Jails, Detention, & Corrections; Crime Victims; Drug Enforcement and many more.


Additionally, a variety of important seminars will be held during the conference, including issues surrounding immigration; crime victims; information sharing; issues affecting jails; and emergency preparedness. To view a full and more detailed list of available seminars, please visit

Furthermore, NSA's Annual Banquet will take place on Wednesday, June 20. The banquet is the finale to the Annual Conference. Events during the banquet include the swearing in of the newly elected NSA Board Members and NSA President.

For more information on NSA's 2012 Annual Conference including registration, hotels, and full conference agenda, please
We look forward to seeing you there!

News & Updates
Save the Date!
NSA 2012 Annual Conference
June 16-20, 2012
Gaylord Opryland
Nashville, TN

For more information, go to

If you have any questions, please contact
Stephanie Garlock at or (703) 838-5316.
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