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Letters to Pres. Trump and Congress on Shutdown

January 11, 2019


The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear President Trump:

We are writing to you because you have always been a strong supporter of law enforcement. The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) represents almost 27,000 federal agents and officers in 65 agencies. Many of our members are the same agents and officers who were with you yesterday when you visited the border. Other members continue to protect this country and its citizens across the country. We implore you and Congress to end the government shutdown. As law enforcement professionals, almost all of our members are providing the public security, are designated as essential personnel, and are working without pay during the shutdown.

Twenty-first century law enforcement requires significant amounts of analytical and technical support provided by non-law enforcement personnel. Many of these positions have been deemed non-essential and have been furloughed. Without these dedicated professionals, technical analysis of allegations, threats, forensics, and investigative leads are not being processed. Without this critical behind the scenes support, our investigators are now ill prepared to confront criminals. This makes an already dangerous situation treacherous and potentially fatal. It is the hallmark of all law enforcement training - not to confront a situation unprepared.

In addition, non-essential support professionals provide all the link analysis, background checks, criminal record checks, communications, laboratory work, and evidence processing required both before and after arrests are conducted. Our members have heroically conducted their duties protecting the public for several weeks without this time sensitive intelligence and support.

Probably the most troublesome result of this shutdown is the distractions spawned by working without pay. The majority of our members live in high cost urban areas where making ends meet is financially challenging enough. Many members in these areas have significant commutes, high mortgages, and exorbitant ancillary expenses that are already barely offset by their salaries. When not paid, these obligations move to the forefront of the law enforcement officer's mind. In addition, nagging at them is the constant unease of not knowing if their medical coverage and life insurance remains available when there is no paycheck for the automatic deduction. This feeling of distress becomes viral when agencies provides minimal assurances and co-workers are equally stressed.

Mr. President, please put yourself in the shoes of one of the men and women in law enforcement you put in harm’s way. They don’t know the background and criminal history of the person who is behind the door they just knocked on. The agent or officer is concerned about how their family will survive without paying their bills. On top of that, they wonder if they are assaulted, will the government provide medical assistance or life insurance. Without 100% focus on the situation, disaster is imminent.

I implore you to find a solution to this shutdown before an unnecessary tragedy occurs.

Sincerely,

Nathan R. Catura
National President
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association

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