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Support to Oppose Perilous FECA Reform Bill

November 7, 2011

Chairman Daniel K. Akaka
Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management
Of the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia
U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
601 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-4551
Fax: (202) 224-2271

 
Chairman Akaka,

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) is the largest federal non-partisan, fraternal association that represents federal law enforcement officers from 65 federal agencies. FLEOA has worked with your and other Senate Committee’s concerning a myriad of issues that has faced federal law enforcement and has found those relationships positive.

It is a fact that federal law enforcement officers are always the ones "running into danger when most are running away from it,” FLEOA Members often face extensive injuries from chasing criminals, protecting the homeland, capturing terrorists and protecting the American way of life. Currently, FLEOA members are working in Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and other locations chasing and apprehending the most dangerous in the world.

All too often, this work results in injuries to our members and because of the way FECA is written, those injured are not able to recover within the allotted 45 days of Continuation of Pay (COP) and are forced to use OWCP and FECA. Most would prefer to stay on their agencies rolls, recover and get back to work, but the current regulations prevent that.

FLEOA has engaged the HSGAC Committee on these issues in the past; including your office, Sen. Collins, Sen. Lieberman, Sen. Brown and former Sen. Voinovich. Each time, FLEOA has informed the committee of the unjust nature of the way FECA is administered including how the benefits often place law enforcement officers under dire economic circumstances and that the health care bureaucracy often exacerbate the injuries. Despite some progress, FLEOA’s position has been that FECA is not geared toward handling the extreme injuries often faced by law enforcement officers.

By comparison, most State and Local law enforcement officers are provided with a simple ¾ tax free short and long term disability system, controlled by the law enforcement agency. This maintains the officers "on the force” and provides a simple and clear system for officers who are injured to recover under. For federal law enforcement officers, this is the type of system, FECA should move towards.

FLEOA understands that the Committee is seeking to minimize fraud, waste and abuse of FECA; all of which FLEOA members investigate.

For law enforcement officers, the current Lieberman/Collins FECA Reform Bill before the Committee would exacerbate an already dysfunctional FECA health care system that is not geared to handle the unique mission or injuries of federal law enforcement officers.

In the past, FLEOA has tried to work with the Committee to implement FECA reforms for law enforcement officers. Our members appreciate your leadership on this and other issues of importance to the federal law enforcement community.

FLEOA looks forward to working with the Committee to provide a FECA system that is a model of support and health care for law enforcement officers so that they can continue their mission of protecting the American people.

Fraternally,

Jon Adler
FLEOA National President