Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan’s Thin Blue Line Act Set for Vote Tomorrow

Apr 26, 2017
Press Release
Key Panel to Approve Crackdown on Cop Killers

Police Deaths Soar in 2016

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan’s legislation to toughen penalties against cop killers is expected to be approved tomorrow by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

uchanan’s Thin Blue Line Act, H.R. 115, would make the murder or attempted murder of a police officer, firefighter or other first responder an “aggravating” factor in death penalty determinations.

The committee meeting will be held at 10 a.m. in room 2141 of Rayburn House Office Building.

“Congress should do all it can to protect our police officers and first responders,” Buchanan said. “My bill makes sure that anyone who targets law enforcement officers is held accountable.”

The number of police officer deaths from shootings increased 56 percent nationally in 2016, according to a report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Additionally, in 2016 alone, ambush-style killings of law enforcement officers increased by 167 percent, according to the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO).

The legislation would be applicable whether the person is murdered on duty, because of the performance of their duty, or because of their status as a public official. It covers federal, state and local police officers, firefighters and first responders. The only requirement is that the homicide involve federal jurisdiction, such as the interstate homicide of an officer, or an officer killed on federal land, or while serving as part of a joint task force.

A number of national law enforcement organizations have voiced their support for the legislation, including the National Association of Police Officers, National Fraternal Order of Police, Major Counties Sheriffs of America, American Federation of Government Employees and others.

What: U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Thin Blue Line Act

Where: 2141 Rayburn House Office Building

When: Thursday, April 27, at 10:00 a.m.

Local media can live stream the markup here: