Letter to Sen Coburn on Protecting PSOB

June 8, 2012

The Honorable Tom Coburn, M.D.
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Coburn:

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association ( is the largest nonpartisan, nonprofit professional association exclusively representing active and retired federal law enforcement officers. Our 26,000 members serve in each one of the 65 federal law enforcement agencies that the committees you sit on have jurisdiction over. As such, you are well aware of the cost and sacrifices made by law enforcement officers, including those in the federal ranks. To date, federal law enforcement has added over 1,000 names to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall, inscribed with more than 19,000 names of law enforcement officers that have given their lives in the line of duty. That Memorial Wall in Washington DC is the only national memorial that add names each year.

Last year, law enforcement officers suffered 173 killed in the line of duty. In 2010, more than 13,000 were also injured while taking enforcement actions. Some of those injuries were career ending and will require lifelong care. In all the above instances of valor, it is the families that are left behind, carrying on with life or helping heal the wounded. In most cases this occurs with little or no help.

The Public Safety Officers Benefit Program (PSOB) was created in 1976 to assist and support the families of law enforcement officers killed or egregiously injured in the line of duty. It is in effect an "earned benefit," earned by sacrificing all. Those officers, just like their counterparts in the military, answer the call and go into harm’s way to protect life and safeguard American's liberties. They willingly put themselves in harm’s way when most others can't or won't. When or if killed or injured while performing their courageous acts, there is an expectation that their families and if seriously injured, themselves, will have the support and means to carry on.

The PSOB Program has and continues to provide that support for those families reeling from a loss or for those officers that are injured and will never return to a career they treasure. That sacrifice made by those officers and their families deserves the best support America has. Reducing or eliminating it is in effect cutting off the support that law enforcement "heroes" families rely on. It would be the equivalent of cutting off the SGLI or VA benefits for members of the military, who have also earned those as well. FLEOA would ask you to consider what it takes to protect life and defend America and if those families deserve any less than the support offered by the PSOB. As President Lincoln said, it is important for the nation to "care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan."

FLEOA appreciates your consideration, is willing to discuss this issue with you, and looks forward to working with you to protect and defend our great nation as well as federal law enforcement officers and their families.


Jon Adler
National President