FLEOA Issues Statement on Impact of COVID-19

FLEOA Issues Statement on Impact of COVID-19


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                            March 18, 2020  

WASHINGTON, DC – Larry Cosme, National President of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), today issued the following statement regarding federal law enforcement during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The safety and security of federal law enforcement officers, agents and their families during these turbulent times is our top priority. FLEOA has been actively working with the White House and relevant Departments to ensure federal law enforcement officers are given prudent guidance. We have also worked with Members of Congress to ensure the issues and concerns of federal law enforcement are considered as lawmakers prepare our national response to the pandemic. FLEOA will continue advocating for federal law enforcement and ensuring our member’s concerns are top of mind for policy makers,” said President Cosme.

"As Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Acting Director Vought highlighted in last night’s OMB guidance to agency leadership, the reality for many law enforcement agents is that social distancing is not an option. Working with the public and potentially bad actors is an inherent mission critical duty for many. Agency leaders must take necessary precautions to mitigate the risk of exposure for federal law enforcement. We are encouraged by agency leaders issuing specific guidance related to minimizing travel and risk management protocols. This is critical to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within agencies and the public,” said Cosme. "The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also issued law enforcement specific guidance which FLEOA has sent to all Members. Every agency must ensure their guidance aligns with CDC law enforcement protocol.” 

Cosme continued, "Among our principal concerns is ensuring all federal law enforcement, regardless of duty status or location, remain in a paid status. The primary focus of federal law enforcement officers should be protecting the public, defending rule of law during chaotic times, and practicing exposure mitigation. Financial constraints should not be a concern.” 

"Furthermore, bad actors are seeking to take advantage of public concern through disinformation campaigns and attacks on government cyber networks, which are under additional strain due to increased telework. This makes the role of federal law enforcement right now extremely important,” Cosme continued. "FLEOA applauds Department of Justice guidance to focus law enforcement efforts on criminal attempts to exploit the situation. Law enforcement is our nation’s front line defense against criminals looking to cause greater unrest; however, as in every national crisis, we will not waver on our commitment to public safety. We applaud every law enforcement officer taking exceptional measures to protect the public. We stand by these agents and officers during these trying times and will continue pursuing every avenue to protect them as they protect us.” 

FLEOA is the nation’s largest non-partisan, not-for-profit professional association representing more than 28,000 federal law enforcement officers and agents across 65 federal agencies.