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Message to FLEOA Members - COVID-19 Update

March 26, 2020 

As our nation continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal law enforcement is on the front lines executing this response.  The risk to themselves and their families cannot be overstated and FLEOA is ensuring that our government prioritizes support for all federal law enforcement officers and agents during this crisis. 

To date, the Congress has passed two major funding pieces of legislation.  In the first, funding for personal protective equipment (PPE) was prominent for all federal law enforcement. As this bill was put together, FLEOA focused on ensuring that 1) More PPE funding was included due to a lack of personal protective gear in many agencies, and 2) Instituting a pay cap waiver during this crisis so agencies can continue to properly respond despite staffing issues and those that conduct the response can be paid appropriately. 

While we have garnered wide support for a national emergency pay cap waiver, in the latest bill only some agencies were provided the waiver. Due to the speed in which Congress is moving through legislation, this isn't surprising. However, FLEOA remains committed to ensuring that a broader pay cap waiver is achieved for all federal law enforcement job series during this crisis.  FLEOA will continue to advocate for this pay cap waiver, as the next major piece of legislation is prepared. 

On this current bill, we were happy to see that the following was included: 

  • The DHS funding provision (Sec. 16003) would waive the cap for any pay related to preparation, prevention, or response to COVID-19 for any pay that is funded, either directly or through reimbursement, by FEMA. 
  • The Labor-Health and Human Services-Education funding title provides if services performed by an employee during FY 2020 related to preparation, prevention, or response to COVID-19 (as determined by the agency head), any premium pay for such services will not be including in calculating the aggregate of basic pay and premium pay for purposes of 5 USC 5547/pay cap. So this would cover things like DOL, SSA, Education Department OIG, and any other agencies funded through the Labor H bill.
  • Bureau of Prisons, Salaries and Expenses: $100 million for Correctional Officer overtime; personal protective equipment and supplies related to coronavirus; clean work and living environments; and inmate medical care and supplies related to coronavirus.
  • DHS, $178,300,000, to remain available until September 30, 2021, to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, which shall be for the purchase of personal protective equipment and sanitization materials: Provided, That funds provided under this heading in this Act may be transferred by the Secretary of Homeland Security between appropriations in the Department only for the purchase of personal protective equipment and sanitization materials to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally:
  • TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION (TSA) – $100 million for increased cleaning and sanitization at TSA operations at airports and other facilities, overtime and travel costs required to maintain operations while infected employees are quarantined, and additional explosive detection materials that must be disposed of after a single use to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  • BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS – $453 million for coronavirus containment in detention facilities; aid to tribal governments; tribal welfare assistance and social services programs; information technology including teleworking capabilities; and increased staffing and overtime costs.
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation: $20 million for the safe return of law enforcement stationed abroad due to coronavirus global impacts; personal protective equipment and necessary supplies; clean work environments; and enhanced telework capabilities.
  • Drug Enforcement of Administration: $15 million for the safe return of law enforcement stationed abroad due to coronavirus global impacts; personal protective equipment and necessary supplies; clean work environments; and enhanced telework capabilities.
  • United States Marshals Service: $15 million for the safe return of law enforcement stationed abroad due to coronavirus global impacts; personal protective equipment and necessary supplies; clean work environments; and enhanced telework capabilities.
  • Office of the Inspector General: $2 million to audit funds appropriated for coronavirus, and for enhanced telework capabilities.
  • DOI, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY – $158.4 million for equipment and supplies for cleaning buildings and public areas; support for law enforcement and emergency personnel deployed to critical areas; increased telework capacity and capability; and other prevention, mitigation, or recovery activities associated with the coronavirus outbreak. Funds will be allocated by the Secretary, as needed, to all DOI bureaus with the exception of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Office of Insular Affairs.
  • US Forest Service, NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM – $34 million for daily cleaning and disinfecting of recreation facilities, increased supply of personal protective equipment, and baseline testing for first responders.
  • U.S. CAPITOL POLICE, SALARIES – $12 million. Funding is provided to maintain staffing levels to protect the Capitol complex. It also provides funding to cover expenses related to increased teleworking and contract support for a reduced on-site workforce. 

As we continue onward during this crisis, your FLEOA team is actively engaged with ensuring that you and your needs are not forgotten.  We encourage you to please stay connected with others and FLEOA during this crisis.  You can follow FLEOA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  You can also check out the www.fleoa.org website for additional resources. 

We are a strong nation, protected and secured by the team of law enforcement that includes you- our nation’s federal law enforcement officers.  There is nothing that together we can't achieve and we will succeed.  Our flag has stood the test of time and it will endure. Thank you to the selfless work and dedication you all display, which keep our nation safe every day. 

God bless,

Larry Cosme

National President

Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association