Blue Blogger

State and National Legislation

The Idaho Peace Officer’s Association is committed to improving benefits for all law enforcement personnel throughout the state. Our goal is to create and enhance the following:

  • Catastrophic Disability Benefits
  • Worker Compensation Benefits
  • Protecting Public Employee Retirement Benefits
  • Paid Medical Retirement Benefits


FY11 COPS Hiring Awards Announced
On September 29th, the COPS Office announced the FY11 COPS Hiring awards. For the FY11 Awards, the COPS Office had approximately $243M to award in funding.

The COPS Office received a total of 2,712 applications, totaling more than $2B in requests.

In regards to the methodology, 50% of an applicant’s score was based on crime data and fiscal health and 50% of the score was based on the current commitment to community policing and proposed community policing plan.

Additionally, statutory methodology requirements mandate that each state and territory with eligible applicants must receive at least ½ of 1% of hiring funds; and that half of the hiring funds must go to agencies serving populations of more than 150,000 and half of the funds go to agencies serving populations of less than 150,000.

Of the 2,712 applications submitted, 430 applications were submitted directly by sheriff’s offices. Furthermore, another 45 applications were from incorporated municipalities that were planning to contract with a sheriff’s office if receiving funding.

So in actuality, with the contract municipalities and the direct submissions by sheriffs, there were 475 sheriffs’ offices total in the application pool for FY11. Therefore, sheriffs’ applications made up approximately 17% of the total applications submitted.

In regards to the awarding of FY11 funding, with the $243M in funding, the COPS Office was able to provide 238 funding awards to law enforcement agencies nationwide.

Of the 238 awards, 34 awards went to sheriffs (29 directly to sheriff’s offices and 5 to incorporated municipalities who planned to contract with their sheriff). As such, sheriffs received 14% of the total FY11 awardsallocated.

Additionally, 46 incorporated municipalities applied for COPS funding to contract with their local law enforcement agency.

Of the 46 cities, 45 were planning to contract with their local Sheriff’s Office and 1 was planning to contract with their local Park Police agency. In regards to the awards, 5 (out of the 46) cities received an FY11 award to contract with their local Sheriff’s Office.

These numbers are great for sheriffs! As sheriffs were 17% of the total application pool and 14% of the total awards given – the FY11 awards were extremely proportional for sheriffs.

When NSA met with the COPS Office to discuss the fallout from the economic recovery, we asked the COPS Office to develop a solution that would overcome the funding disparity that happened to sheriffs in the economic recovery.

Based on these numbers, the COPS Office has clearly heard the nation’s sheriffs and taken the steps necessary to ensure that they disparity does not happen again. NSA sincerely thanks the COPS Office for all of their hard work and effort!

bLEGISLATIVE PUSH: Continued Outreach on Hatch Act Legislation Needed
SHERIFFS: Continuing to contact your Members of Congress (both in the House and Senate) and urge them to cosponsor HR498/S1562 – the State and Local Law Enforcement Hatch Act Reform Act of 2011.

We continue to work to move the legislation through the various chambers; however, the more support we have for the bill, the easier to move the bill!

For sample letters of support and a fact sheet on the bills, please contact Stephanie Garlock at or 703-838-5316.

cSenate Judiciary Committee Approves Blue Alert Act
On September 8th, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved S657 – the National Blue Alert Act, out of the Committee. This means the bill can be called up on the Senate Floor for a vote at any time.

The National Blue Alert Act would be designed to be compatible with the successful Amber Alert systems already in place nationwide. The legislation enables the Attorney General to establish a national Blue Alert communications network within the Department of Justice (DOJ) to disseminate information when a law enforcement officer is seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.

Additionally, the bill establishes a national coordinator of the Blue Alert communications network within the DOJ, who will be tasked with encouraging states and local governments to develop additional Blue Alert plans; establishing voluntary guidelines for states and local governments to use in developing such plans; developing protocols for efforts to apprehend suspects; and establishing an advisory group to assist states, local governments, law enforcement agencies, and other entities in initiating, facilitating, and promoting Blue Alert plans.

NSA strongly supports the National Blue Alert Act (S657); and its House companion – HR395; and will continue to work with the bills’ sponsors to pass this legislation during the 112th Congress.

dVice President Biden Holds Press Conference on COPS Funding and Jobs Act
On September 29th, Vice President Biden held a press conference at the Alexandria (VA) Police Department to discuss the importance of COPS Hiring funding; as well as discuss the inclusion of COPS Hiring funding and D Block within the American Jobs Act bill.

The Vice President addressed a group of individuals from the Alexandria police department and Sheriff’s office; the COPS Office, Alexandria government; and national law enforcement organizations representatives – including NSA. During his speech, Vice President Biden discussed the importance and successes of COPS Hiring program; as well as the need to ensure that during these times of economic hardship, law enforcement has the resources and personnel needed to do their jobs.

Additionally, the Vice President highlighted the inclusion of $4B for COPS Hiring and allocation of the D Block with the $10B for the creation of the nationwide public safety network within the American Jobs Act of 2011.

IPOA logo blue

Contact IPOA

P.O. BOX 5497
Twin Falls, Idaho 83303
Office (208) 731-8054