Cornyn, Leahy, Grassley, Franken, Hatch, Coons Introduce Bill to Aid Response Training to Active Shooters

In: All News   Posted 04/21/2016

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Al Franken (D-MN), Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Chris Coons (D-DE) issued the following statements after introducing the Protecting Our Lives by Initiating COPS Expansion (POLICE) Act of 2016, which will allow law enforcement and medical personnel across the country to use federal grant funds to train and better prepare for active shooter situations, including training civilians how to respond if confronted by an active shooter:

Sen. Cornyn: “Law enforcement needs to be prepared for whatever might come their way, including, unfortunately, active shooter situations. Allowing COPS grants to be used for training, like the ALERRT program at Texas State University, will make our first responders better prepared and keep our communities safer.”

Sen. Leahy: “Far too often, our communities and our law enforcement officers are confronted with active shooter situations. We must support our state and local law enforcement who put their lives on the line to keep us safe. The POLICE Act would authorize grants for law enforcement training regarding how to handle active shooter situations. The Senate should come together and pass our bipartisan legislation.”

Sen. Grassley: “The brave men and women in law enforcement risk their own safety each day to keep our communities safe.  In Congress, we can help ensure they are equipped with the necessary tools and training to help them protect and serve.  The additional training opportunities created in the POLICE Act will help law enforcement across the country prepare to counter new threats and safely resolve dangerous situations.”

Sen. Franken: “All across Minnesota, law enforcement officers are dedicated to keeping our communities safe. This bipartisan legislation will allow police departments in Minnesota and across the country to use grants to train for active shooter emergencies.”  

Sen. Hatch: “Our law enforcement officers face greater threats than ever, and I am committed to doing everything possible to ensure that they have the resources and training they need to protect themselves and our communities. The POLICE Act of 2016 will help our police officers receive crucial Active Shooter Response Training, something that has become increasingly important in recent years following the terrible tragedies in San Bernardino, Sandy Hook, and elsewhere.”

Sen. Coons: “Police officers risk their lives to keep us safe, and we need to ensure that they have the support and training to do their job safely. Our bipartisan bill would support grants to provide training to help local law enforcement react to and protect the public from active shooters. As Wilmington and cities across the country continue to struggle with gun violence, I urge Congress to come together to pass this bill that will help make our communities safer.”

Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) are also cosponsors of the POLICE Act.


Background on the POLICE Act

The POLICE Act would revise the rules of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Service (COPS) to allow first responders to use grants received through the program for active shooter response training. Representative John Carter (R-TX) introduced a version of the POLICE Act in the House of Representatives in February. The bill is supported by the National Fraternal Order of Police and the Department of Justice’s VALOR program.